Of the expected outcomes in a doubleheader between the Twins and the worst team in baseball, dropping both games seemed unthinkable. After an ugly loss in game one, however, the worst-case-scenario seemed all to possible.
Enter Scott Baker, who has been anything but dominant so far in 2010. The Twins’ Opening Day starter finally showed the ability that drew him that assignment in the first place.
“This was a good night for him, I mean a really good night, and it was needed,” Gardenhire said. “He gave us a good shot in the arm.” -quoted by Joe Christensen in the Strib
Baker was aggressive in a rather large strike zone, and he kept the Orioles off balance for eight innings. The Luke Scott home run in the fifth inning didn’t seem to phase him. It was one of just three hits allowed and represented the only run for the Orioles in the night cap.
Six runs were plenty for Baker to help get the Twins back to winning after a brief break.
Oh, and Joe Mauer made an appearance.
WPA Stars of the Game
1. Scott Baker
2. Justin Morneau
3. Luke Scott
AL Central Standings (through Saturday)
1. Min 20-11, 158-116, –
2. Det 17-13, 145-139, 2.5
3. Chi 13-18, 129-151, 7.0
4. Cle 10-18, 99-140, 8.5
5 KC 11-20, 128-168, 9.0
Sunday’s series finale will feature Nick Blackburn on the hill for the Twins. The Orioles starter is listed as “To Be Announced” – an intimidating pitcher, no doubt.