Twins Beat Carmona

Game 23: Twins 9 (15-8), Indians 3 (9-13)

What might have been most remarkable about the Twins’ win on Friday night is that they defeated a pitcher who had been pitching well, and by all accounts had his “nasty” stuff working for him. That’s a night-and-day difference from the team that got shut out Thursday afternoon – it certainly helped to have Mauer, Morneau, and Hardy in the lineup. The three that were held out on Thursday accounted for four of the team’s 12 hits and three of the nine RBI’s.

Slowey didn’t look great, but on this night he didn’t have to be great. He and the four pitchers out of the bullpen worked out of trouble on several occasions to keep the margin. Perhaps the scariest moment was Jesse Crain’s sixth inning – an inning in which the reliever worked out of a situation of his own making to hold the Indians to no runs. Twins’ fans can’t be blamed for having flashbacks to the meltdown on Wednesday night, but Crain worked out of it in what hopefully will be a boost for his confidence.

WPA Stars of the Game:
1. Justin Morneau
2. Orlando Hudson
3. Travis Hafner

AL Central Standings (through Friday)
1. Min 15-8, 118-87, –
2. Det 14-10, 120-113, 1.5
3. Cle 9-13, 77-104, 5.5
4. Chi 9-14, 92-111, 6.0
5. KC 9-14, 99-129, 6.0

Jeff Manship makes his first start of the season Saturday night against Justin Masterson. Francisco Liriano looms for Sunday’s start, so a win Saturday might give the team its best chance for a sweep so far this season.

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