Although the Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers are geographically the closest two teams to each other, tonight proved that the Chicago White Sox are still the most heated rival of the Twins.
In the earlier innings of tonight’s game, the ChiSox jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead (thanks in part to a Jim Thome long fly to left), only to see it trimmed to 4-3 on another Justin Morneau clutch home run. Then, in the seventh inning, all hell broke loose:
With Denard Span leading off the inning, Span appeared to be hit by the pitch, but after an A.J. Pierzynski appeal to the umpire, the ump ruled that Span offered at the ball in his bunt attempt. Later, replays would clearly show that it was an incorrect call. Ron Gardenhire stormed out of the dugout to argue, but was ejected before he reached the top step. After a few minutes of theatrics, Gardy kicked his cap high into the air before retreating into the dugout, inspiring many fans to throw their caps out on the field. In a tense situation, Ozzie Guillen pulled his Sox off the field for a short time before order could be restored (essentially, until all the drunk guys could be settled down).
When all was restored, Denard Span drew a walk and later scored on a Joe Mauer single. Then, with Morneau and Delmon Young on base, Kubel launched a laser beam into deep right field to give the Twins a 7-4 lead.
A two-run shot from Jermaine Dye briefly moved the Pale Hose to within one run, but the Twins opened things up again in the eighth, scoring three times for the 10-6 final.
Considering the dramatic comeback, tense rivalry, and bullpen battles this game featured, it may very well have been the single most exciting game of the season to date.
-Dome, Sweet, Dome. Hopefully, by continuing to win at home, the Twins are slowly gaining enough confidence to go out and win a few road contests. With the big road trip at the end of August and beginning of September, the Twins will need to learn this valuable skill.
-Twins/Sox in the last homestand of the season. Division title on the line? Better glue Gardy’s cap to his head!
Preview (60-48, 2nd, 0.5 GB CWS): Nick Blackburn (7-6, 3.69) vs. Jeremy Sowers (1-5, 5.86). Sowers pitched well against the Twins last Sunday, until we strung a few hits together in the late innings to get the W. Blackie pitches well at home, and the Indians don’t play well anywhere, much less the Dome.