Last night, the offensive woes for the Twins didn't exactly go away. In fact, the Twins had just as many hits last (4) as they did in Friday's hitting catastrophe. The fact that they managed to pick up their 16th victory is only a testament to their pitching and defense. Johan Santana and the bullpen held Boston's offense down with support of some good plays, highlighted by Nick Punto's great throw on a Julio Lugo ground-out with the bases loaded in the first.
Santana wasn't exactly on fire yesterday, as he gave up seven hits and walked two, but he still managed to strike out five in five innings while limiting the Red Sox to one run. The bullpen, on the other hand, was phenomenal. In four innings, they gave up no runs and no hits while striking out four, although they also issued four walks.
The bullpen's good work was highlighted by Jesse Crain's strikeout of David Ortiz and Joe Nathan, who gave into the eigth with two on, picking up his eigth save with a strike out of Manny Ramirez. The four walks isn't all that disheartening anyways, considering the narrow and fluctuating strikezone of Jim Wolf.
The offense has no surprises, as Torii Hunter continued his hitting streak, running it to 20 games with his 15th double. Hunter continues to be on fire, but once again, the rest of the lineup couldn't do much. The only other exception was Jeff Cirillo, who looked good, coaxing a walk off of starter Julian Tavarez after a long at-bat in the second to set up the Twins only run-scoring inning as well as picking up a single later in the game. Cirillo is 4-for-12 so far and looks like the solid pickup we thought he'd be in the offseason.
Sadly, the only runs were scored on a bases-loaded Fielder's Choice off the bat of Jason Tyner and a RBI infield single by Jason Bartlett. Otherwise, the Twins could do nothing against Tavarez and Joel Pineiro, as they even struck out seven times against Tavarez, who has looked terrible this year.
With Curt Schilling on the mound for the Red Sox today and Sidney Ponson getting another start, things don't look too great for the Twins. Added to that, they'll be without Michael Cuddyer and Joe Mauer, who was also out last night with a quadriceps injury. Lets hope for the best, but with only two hitters in the lineup who regularly hit home runs, runs will be hard to come by.