There haven't been many positive things to write about the Twins lately. And frankly, it gets a little dreary writing about slumps and losing streaks and ineptitude day in and day out. So I'm very happy to report that the Twins have won a series for the first time this month, taking back-to-back games from the Mariners after losing the series opener in a heart-breaker. In the last two games of the series, the Twins scored a total of 17 runs, which matched their total from the previous week. Scott Baker delivered yet another excellent performance, but since the Twins' scoring came late in the game, it was Pat Neshek who was credited with the win.
Rondell White hit his first homer of the year. Torii Hunter gave the Twins a lead with an RBI single in the eighth, and then he added some insurance in the ninth with a grand slam. It's definitely pleasant to see Hunter stepping up with some run production in that cleanup spot. Meanwhile, Tommy Watkins got his first major-league hit (he had two hits, in fact), Nick Punto actually managed to execute a sacrifice bunt, and Jason Bartlett went 2-for-3 with a double (he's now hitting .314 with a .510 SLG for the month of August). On top of all that, the Twins managed to trade Ramon Ortiz for a prospect that might actually fill a need in the organization.
Of course, to concentrate on all of these niceties would be to overlook the facts that the Twins went just 2-for-14 in scoring opportunities yesterday, Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer combined to strand nine runners while going 2-for-9 with five strikeouts, and the red-hot Bartlett is likely headed to the disabled list with a strained hamstring. Whatever. For today, I'm just going to ignore the negatives and focus on the positives. The Twins have won a couple games in a row, and now they're headed back home to take on a soft Texas team with a weak pitching staff. Hopefully we have some watchable baseball ahead of us this weekend.
By the way, if you're heading out the Metrodome for any of the games this weekend, do me a favor and pick up a copy of GameDay Magazine. I will be contributing to the fine publication for a second time this year, writing up the "Dugout Splinters" insert on the Twins.