Thursday, August 4, 2011

Late night: Twins 11, Angels 4

Michael Cuddyer hits his fifth career grand slam.
Game story here.

Box score here.

This game pivoted on a curious decision by Anaheim manager Mike Scoscia.

Fifth inning, score tied at four. Joel Pineiro had gotten Matt Tolbert out, but then gave up singles to Denard Span and Ben Revere, then walked Joe Mauer in a fairly obvious pitch-around. That brought up Michael Cuddyer.

Pineiro threw ball one well inside -- and Scoscia pulled him for left-hander Hisanori Takahashi.

A curious decision because Cuddyer mashes lefties and really doesn't do that much against righties. It's true for his career as a whole and even more emphatically so this season. And Cuddyer lived up to his platoon splits by hammering the first pitch from Takahashi for the grand slam.

It was the first of two homers for Cuddyer on the night (he hit his second off a right-hander). Delmon Young doubled his season output for homers with round trippers in consecutive at-bats. Jason Kubel also homered (off Takahashi, a rare dinger off a lefty for Kubel). Yes, the Twins hit five home runs in one game. This is roughly 7 percent of their season total.

Give credit, also, to Anthony Swarzak, who threw five innings of shutout ball in relief of Scott Baker. Swarzak gave up one hit and one walk. Just one strikeout, but he threw strikes and kept the game moving, which Baker couldn't accomplish.

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