Matt Garza picked up his first major-league win last night, looking very good in a six-inning outing against the Orioles in a 4-1 Twins victory. One night after Carlos Silva served up five home runs, Garza held the Baltimore bats to five hits and one walk before handing things over the bullpen, which not surprisingly delivered three perfect innings. Garza was not dominant by any means (only one strikeout), but he kept the hitters off-balance and induced a lot of pop-ups and groundballs, and he was helped out by some terrific plays from the Twins defense. Garza gave up only one run, and it was unearned. After needing 100 pitches to get through five innings in his last start, he needed just 84 to get through six and probably could have pitched the seventh if not for the fact that the Twins' bullpen was well-rested and ready to go.
The Twins offense came around after a poor showing against Adam Loewen on Tuesday night. Facing Rodrigo Lopez, one of the few pitchers in the league on the same level of badness as Silva, the Twin' hitters collected 13 hits in six innings. In total, the Twins had 15 hits, including five doubles and a home run. The fact that they were only able to convert all those base-runners into four runs is a little disconcerting, but it was plenty to get the job done on this night. Michael Cuddyer went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI, Torii Hunter homered and doubled, Jason Bartlett had three hits, and Justin Morneau picked up RBI #108 on the season.
The big dark spot in the offense last night was Jason Kubel, who went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. I never thought I'd be saying this, but I'm kind of excited at the thought of getting Rondell White back in the lineup. Kubel, who is now hitting .251/.291/.406 on the season, looks totally lost at the plate and cannot run at all. It is time for the Twins to think about shutting him down for the season and allowing him rest up and start thinking about 2007. It's looking less and less like he's going to make any progress this season with his knees the way they are.
And now I bid you all farewell for a few days. I'll be heading to Chicago tomorrow, and I won't be back until Sunday or Monday. I'll be at US Cellular watching the Twins and Sox face off on Friday night and possibly Saturday as well. I might have Internet access while I'm out there, but I doubt it, so I'll probably be back with a full report next week and in my absence Mr. Mosvick will be taking things over. Have a good weekend and enjoy the baseball!