These are games that title-aspiring teams don’t give away.
The Twins led 3-0 after three on Wednesday and looked to be cruising to another victory. Then, the hitting stopped and Buff (Boof) Bonser wore down and the Twins showed once again that all the TinyBall in the world too frequently gets swallowed up a few big hits. The Jays got three doubles for two runs off Buff Bonser in the fifth and two more in the sixth on Gregg Zaun’s third homer of the year. Buff faded s’more, allowing another double (to Royce Effin’ Clayton) to open the seventh, rendering moot three innings of one (infield) hit, one walk relief. The offense of 11 singles, including three infield hits, was desperate for the big bop that never came.
Did you know that Royce Effin’ Clayton has three extra-base hits since May 19? And that all of ‘em have come against the Twins?
Torii hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh for the final run (off the reliever’s first pitch) and Kubel had a bad at-bat strikeout to end that threat. The 3-4-5 guys (Mauer, Cuddyer, Hunter) went down on easy grounders in the ninth.
Can someone kidnap Toronto’s Matt Stairs and make him a Twin for the rest of the season, please? (We promise, Matt, nobody in Minnesota will ask you to play first base.)
So the Twins blew a chance to move within 5 of Detroit and 4 1/2 of Cleveland. This weekend — Friday through Sunday — marks the season’s first truly critical series, a three-gamer at Detroit that includes games on national TV on Saturday afternoon (FOX) and Sunday night (ESPN).
Would be great if the Twins leave Detroit in better shape than when they enter it.
(Another blogger/reader/baseball gathering: The Nicks are playing host to a gathering of Twins bloggers and their readers on Saturday at Park Tavern in St. Louis Park. Folks will start gathering at 2:30 p.m. The Twins-Tigers game starts at 2:55. We did this in April at Buffalo Wild Wings in Crystal and a good time was had by all. It may be a good excuse for me to get out my Bret Boone batting shirt. Or maybe not.)