At least the Indians were able to make someone feel good today. It was mighty charitable of them.
Joe Nathan — who was recently demoted from the closer’s role for Minnesota in favor of Matt Capps — came on in the ninth inning today, got a pop out and then two foul-tip strikeouts to end the game, and certainly must feel as if he has taken a step on the road back to his accustomed role.
So nice job building someone’s confidence, Indians.
The Twins scored three times in the third inning today and never looked back, knocking Fausto Carmona out of the game after five innings, padding their lead against Chad Durbin, and rolling to a 10-3 victory over the Tribe in the first of a weather-abbreviated two-game set at Target Field.
The loss drops Cleveland to 13-7 on the season, and — pending the outcome of Kansas City’s game tonight in Texas — reduces the Indians’ lead to a single game in the AL Central, while Minnesota wins their second straight and climbs within five games of the Tribe.
The Twins pounded out thirteen hits, including the second homer of the year from Danny Valencia. Carmona surrendered seven hits in his five innings, Durbin allowed four in his two innings of work — which included Valencia’s homer and four runs allowed — and even Justin Germano, who pitched a scoreless eighth, allowed two hits before working his way out of the inning.
Carmona (1-3, 5.76 ERA) had a string of three straight excellent starts broken, and (in the category of looking for a silver lining), maybe he used up all his “psyched” before last night’s postponement and had little left in the tank today.
Or maybe the two-time defending Central champion Twins have finally decided to play baseball
The Indians were able to collect only six hits off of Brian Duensing, Dusty Hughes and Nathan. Duensing (2-0, 3.00) worked seven innings and allowed just one run on five hits, walking one and fanning three. Hughes allowed two runs in his inning, including Grady Sizemore’s second home run of the season, a two-run shot to eighth.
Minnesota had not scored more than five runs in any game this season. One might say that the Twins doubled their fun over any of the previous 19 games. And the Twins — who came into the game batting .233 — raised their season’s batting average to .240 with their thirteen hits.
Not much more needs to be said about this one. The good thing about baseball is that (weather permitting) there will be a chance to split the series and end the road trip at 3-3 with a win tomorrow, with Carlos Carrasco going against former Indian Carl Pavano at 2:10. Then the Indians come home and play Kansas City on Tuesday night, after what might be a welcome day-off on Monday