Blackburn’s Turn

Game 32: Twins 6 (21-11), Orioles 0 (9-23)

It stands to reason that a four-game series with the Orioles would be an ideal situation for some  Twins starting pitchers to put up some strong numbers – especially those whose performances have been only so-so during the first month-and-change of the season. Pavano excelled Thursday night in a 2-0 loss, Baker did it last night in a 6-1 win, and Blackburn followed with seven shut-out innings in a 6-0 Twins win over Baltimore.

Even more promising, however, was the return of Joe Mauer to the lineup. A DH on Sunday, Mauer went 1-for-3 and is expected to return behind the plate Tuesday night.

Denard Span continued his hot streak, going 3-for-4 with a triple and three runs knocked in. The other Twins with multi-hit games does not exactly read as a who’s who list – Nick Punto, Brendan Harris, and Alexi Casilla. It’s nice for the top guys to be able to have an off game and be picked up by those lower in the lineup on occasion.

WPA Stars of the Game
1. Nick Blackburn
2. Denard Span
3. Alexi Casilla

AL Central Standings (Through Sunday afternoon)
1. Min 21-11, 164-116, –
2. Det 17-14, 149-146, 3.5
3. Chi 13-19, 136-160, 8.0
4. Cle 11-18, 106-144, 8.5
5. KC 11-21, 132-174, 10.0

A day off is followed by a brief, two-game series against the White Sox- the first time Ozzie Guillen and company will have been to Target Field. Kevin Slowey and Freddy Garcia are the scheduled pitchers for Tuesday night.

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