When Jacque Jones singled in the bottom of the 13th today to plate Lew Ford, the Twins picked up their 31st victory of the season. Unable to pick up his 7th victory of the season, however, was Twins' starter Johan Santana, despite a dominant 8-inning performance in which he struck out 14. With the game tied 3-3, the Twins tried hard to get a run for Johan late in the game to give him a chance to pick up the win, but failed. In the bottom of the 7th, Nick Punto walked with one out, and tried to steal to move into scoring position but was thrown out. So Santana came out to pitch the 8th despite a relatively high pitch count of 97. Johan got three quick outs, and it seemed he might still have a chance to pick up the W. In the bottom of the 8th, Shannon Stewart led off with a single. Unfortunately, Joe Mauer then grounded into a double play. Lew Ford would then walk, but Matthew LeCroy would strike out, ending a threat. So despite a very solid effort for Johan, his record stands at 6-2 on the year.
After the Twins tied the game at 3-3 with Punto's 2-run homer in the 5th, neither team would score again over the next 7 innings. That's what happens when you have two of the best bullpens in the league going at it in an extra-inning ball-game, something that has happened a TON between these two teams this season. Joe Nathan was shaky again for the Twins, allowing two runners to reach with two outs in the 10th and then putting them both in scoring position with a wild pitch, but he was able to get the third out and avoid disaster. Lately, Joe has looked awfully remniscient of a former nerve-racking Twins closer by the name of Eddie. Juan Rincon pitched a hitless 9th, Jesse Crain pitched two scoreless innings, and JC Romero struck out two of the three batters he faced in the 13th to pick up his first win of the season.
Torii Hunter followed up his monstrous day yesterday with a pretty solid game this afternoon, going 2/5 with a double and a walk. Justin Morneau came out of the game in the 5th inning with what I assume was an injury, but I missed what happened to him (if anyone knows please comment). He was replaced by Matt LeCroy who, despite a pretty decent start this year, has become absolutely worthless. LeCroy went 0/4 with 3 strikeouts. What good can a guy who can't run, play defense, or hit .250 do for a team? Absolutely none. Fatty has gotta go. Punto also came out of the game, which I assume was an injury that occurred during his slide, as he was removed following his failed attempt to steal second in the 7th.
It was a tough, long game, but the Twins finally won and got the series victory. Unfortunately, they used all of their relievers except for Matt Guerrier and Terry Mulholland today, and also ended up using all of their bench players in the game as well, so the team might be fairly tired going into an important Yankees series that starts tomorrow night. Hopefully they can regain their strength and put up a good showing this weekend against the Bronx Bombers.