Game 51: Twins 5 (31-20), Mariners 4 (19-31)
Something about West Coast trips seem to make the bats come out for the Twins. In the first series of the year at Los Angeles, the team looked to be on a record pace for home runs. That pace slowed down quickly, and hit a virtual halt as the team opened its new ballpark.
Three home runs in Seattle are a quick reminder that the Twins do have some power. The jumped into the lead against the Mariners, and the bullpen was able to hold on for a 5-4 win.
As entertaining as the home runs can be, all eyes might have been on second base when the Twins took the field. Reviews of Michael Cuddyer’s first second base experience in several years indicate that he was good enough, but had a few adventures:
Defensively, Cuddyer got his first chance right away. Mariners leadoff man Ichiro Suzuki hit a routine grounder, and Cuddyer calmly made the play. Some trickier moments followed. Cuddyer bounced a relay throw to first base, and Justin Morneau couldn’t make the scoop on a potential double-play ball from Rob Johnson in the fourth. Suzuki also reached on an infield single when Cuddyer had a bad hop bounce up near his right shoulder.
The good news is that it sounds as though Orlando Hudson should be in the lineup before the weekend.
WPA Stars of the Game
1. Josh Wilson
2. Delmon Young
3. Michael Cuddyer
AL Central Standings (through Monday)
1. Min 31-20, 251-195, –
2. Det 26-24, 221-220, 4.5
3. Chi 22-28, 210-238, 8.5
4. KC 21-31, 225-263, 10.5
5. Cle 18-31, 193-258, 12.0
Nick Blackburn, who has been the Twins’ best starter over the past few trips through the rotation, takes the hill against Jason Vargas at Safeco Field on Tuesday night.