Game story here.
Box score here.
And the power is still on. Both Justin Morneau and J.J. Hardy homered, second game in a row for both of them. Morneau's spring training slump sure seems a long ways away now, doesn't it?
Hardy also had a second impressive pick-and-throw from the outfield grass in the hole. I'm not sure when I last saw a Twins shortstop who could make that play, and he's done it twice in this series.
Jon Rauch got the save again, although he gave up a run and was spared another by the above-mentioned Hardy play. Not as impressive an outing as the previous day's.
And really, his inning was hardly as crucial as Matt Guerrier's eighth. Guerrier had to get through Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter and Hideki Matsui. Rauch was dealing with the bottom half of the Angels order.
Before the Twins game started, I took a look at the White Sox-Indians game on WGN. (Sure, the Yankees and Red Sox were on ESPN, but who the heck wants to watch all those committee meetings on the mound?)
The Sox are the team I most expect to challenge the Twins, and there was some chatter in late March that the Tribe might be pretty frisky this season.
Not that one should draw firm conclusions off one game — and particularly one in the nasty chill that one was played in (game time temp was 42 degrees, according to Hawk Harrelson, and it got colder fast) — but here goes anyway:
- I can't buy into the Fausto-Carmona-is-back hype. Sure, he allowed just one hit in his six innings. He also walked six and fanned just one.
- The Cleveland lineup worked Jake Peavy hard -- 106 pitches in five innings.
- A key moment: With one out and two on in the fourth inning, former Twins catcher Mike Redmond, down 1-2 in the count, turned into a Peavy fastball and took it off the elbow. That loaded the bases and set up a pair of RBI singles that tied the game at 3.
- Shin-Soo Choo is good. He also has a name Harrelson can't handle; the Hawk calls him "Shin-Sin Choo."