The news that Joe Mauer might be out for a couple of weeks was softened quite a bit by Wilson Ramos’ 4-for-5 afternoon in Cleveland. Mauer’s status is still to be determined, but one has more confidence in a week or so without the reigning MVP considering that the catching duties are in capable hands. Ramos doesn’t even need to get four hits every night. If he can have good at-bats and keep his head above water the rest of the lineup should do the heavy lifting offensively.
Ramos’ debut almost overshadows what should be the dominant storyline of Sunday’s game. Francisco Liriano didn’t look as dominant as he has over the past few weeks, but he did what baseball teams expect of their starting ace. He fought through some tough innings, and ultimately ate innings in a game that could have easily been turned over to a tired bullpen a few innings earlier.
It appears as though some of the bats are waking up as well. Morneau is raking, Span is getting back to where you would expect, Orlando Hudson has found his swing, and Delmon Young continues to make good contact.
As tough as the last two series have seemed for the Twins, they came out even and had a winning record on a nine-game AL Central road trip. It seems as though the team could have come out with one or two more wins, but you take a winning road trip in almost any circumstance.
WPA Stars of the Game
1. Delmon Young
2. Jim Thome
3. Azdrubal Cabrera
AL Central Standings (through Sunday)
1. Min 16-9, 130-95, –
2. Det 16-10, 128-116, 0.5
3. Cle 10-14, 85-116, 5.5
4. Chi 10-15, 102-129, 6.0
5. KC 10-15, 103-132, 6.0
The Tigers come to Target Field for as big a series as a team can have in early May. Scott Baker and Max Scherzer are Monday’s starters.