Thursday afternoon's start for Scott Baker against the Cleveland Indians could have gone a little smoother. Over his 5.2 innings, he surrendered six earned runs on 10 hits with a walk and three strikeouts, which resulted in an 8-1 loss. Alex Burnett got Lou Marson to strike out swinging for the last out of the sixth and the rest of the relief corps went on to record three scoreless innings.
However, the Twins offense was ice cold. Aside from Justin Morneau going 2-for-2 with Minnesota's lone RBI, Denard Span and Drew Butera were the only others with a hit in the game. Mitch Talbot schooled them for six innings before both Perezes pretty much shut them down completely. Can't win them all though, right?
So, coming off yet another series victory -- their unheard-of fifth in five chances to kick off the 2010 season -- the Twins are headed to Kauffman Stadium with an 11-5 record, ready to take on the Royals for the second time this year. Carl Pavano (2-1, 4.96 ERA) will face Gil Meche (0-1, 11.57 ERA) with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10pm.
Fun fact: This series marks the second TwinsTrain trip of the season. Since you may be missing out on this one, be sure to check out their future outings, like July's trip to Comerica Park in Detroit, where I will be, with bells on!
Some things to look out for: Scott Podsednik has a history of crushing Pavano's balls. Not only is he batting .449 at the moment with a 7-for-8 stolen base mark, the left-handed-hitting left fielder owns a .316 career batting average (6-for-19) against the Twins' right-hander. Also, Alberto Callaspo is batting .500 lifetime (10-for-20) against him, which is not quite as threatening as the obscenities Sluggerrr the Lion is capable of using a hot dog launcher.
Meanwhile, Joe Mauer is batting a career .348 (8-for-23) with two homers, 12 RBI and seven walks off Meche. Morneau and Jim Thome have also seen success against the righty.
Heading into this nine-game road trip -- all against American League Central rivals -- with a 5-2 away record already under their belts should be some nice momentum.
Also, there's some good news on the Pat Neshek front. The right-hander, who had been bothered by soreness in his middle finger for the past week, threw a bullpen session before Thursday’s game and said he felt fine. Long story short, the reliever has been cleared to resume his wacky delivery, which is great considering Jose Mijares and Clay Condrey are both on the disabled list with elbow issues.
This MLB10 The Show musical montage by our buddy Nadasfan, complete with a cheesy love song which I spotted on Minnesota Twins Fans Online, is pretty awesome. It makes me want to lay around all day and play video games. And hang out at Target Field.
And I suppose it's never too early to vote for your favorite All Stars.