Getting Out With A Win

tag.jpgThe first (and, until yesterday, only) time the Twins won a game at SAFECO field in Seattle, Denard Span leaped high over the wall to rob a Mariner batter of a home run, effectively preserving the game.  In yesterday’s contest, Span made a similar contribution…

Like nearly ever Twins-Mariners game this season, the lead seesawed back and forth throughout the entire game.  The Twins took an early lead on a Delmon Young sacrifice fly, but Betancourt’s double tied the game at 1-1.

In the top of the fourth, a bases-load double from Span (more on him later, fortunately!) pulled the Twins in front 4-2, but again that margin was erased two batters into the bottom of the inning, when Jose Lopez hit a two-run dinger.

Then, for a short time, the Mariners took the lead, 5-4, when Raul Ibanez launched ANOTHER big home run.  However, a double from Jason Kubel and a single from Brian Buscher made the game 6-4 in favor of the visitors.

Finally, in a closing act fitting of this year’s Twins/Mariners rivalry, Jeff Clement doubled in Kenji Johjima to make the score 6-5 with Eddie Guardado on the mound.  With two outs, Miguel Cairo singled to right and Hulett (running for Clement) barreled towards home.  Span came up with the ball and fired a one-hop bullet to Mike Redmond, who applied the tag (as shown above) and ended the inning.

Joe Nathan then closed out the game with no incident (not a minor feat against these Ms).  Whew!

Notes:

-Where would the Twins be without Denard Span right now?  Currently, he covers the most range in the outfield, has a strong arm, gets all the clutch hits, and runs the bases very well.  Torii Hunter sure did a good job mentoring this guy…plus, Span is a much more disciplined hitter than Hunter will ever be!

-Alright Twins fans, let’s just calm down a little bit here.  We eaked out a win in Seattle, so we didn’t get swept.  The other two teams on the road trip are Oakland and Toronto, who are both very beatable.  Really, if not for Seattle, the Twins would be lauded as the best team in the league since the All-Star break.  Good riddance to them!

Preview (75-58, 2nd, 1.0 GB CWS): Nick Blackburn (9-8, 3.78) vs. Dana Eveland (8-8, 4.30). All those “Moneyball” hitters are the A’s are tough to easily retire, but this year none of them are extremely talented (they just have a knack for working counts).  Thus, strong pitching performances can and will beat them.

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