The Minnesota Twins took a game back in the standings on Saturday, as newly acquired Carl Pavano shined in his debut. The veteran won his tenth game of the season, his first with the Twins, as he worked seven innings in his Twins debut to defeat the Detroit Tigers. Allowing only five hits in the contest, Pavano struck out five along the way, walked none, and threw 90 pitches before giving way to Jose Mijares.
Mijares tossed a perfect eighth, handing the ball off to Glen Perkins, who worked the ninth to secure the Twins 11-0 victory. Pavano got plenty of help offensively, especially from Denard Span, who went 5-5 in the game. The Twins leadoff hitter also hit his 23rd double of the season, as he pushed his batting average back to the .300 mark.
Joe Mauer hit his 20th home run of the season, his second in as many days, and Orlando Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 18 games. Mauer finished the game with two hits, three runs batted in, and a run, while Jason Kubel also picked up two hits in the contest.
For a team that struggled mightily with runners in scoring position earlier in the week, the Twins were fantastic in the clutch on Saturday, as Justin Morneau pushed his RBI total over 90 for the fourth straight year. Seven Twins drove in runs on Saturday, with Mauer collecting three, Cabrera two, and Alexi Casilla, Delmon Young, Kubel, and Span had one.
With the win, the Twins moved to 4.5 games behind the Tigers, and need to take another one on Sunday, because the Wildcard is all but out of their reach.
Minor League Notes
Rochester Red Wings
The Wings got a great effort out of Philip Humber on Saturday, as they picked up a 3-2 victory against Louisville. Humber worked seven innings, allowing four hits, and did not allow an earned run. It was the fourth consecutive successful start for the right-hander. Brian Buscher had two hits, driving his average up to .375, and Steven Tolleson picked up his 15 double of the season. Robert Delaney picked up his eighth save of the season.
New Britain Rock Cats
Deolis Guerra was lit up by Akron on Saturday, allowing eight earned runs, as the Rock Cats pitchers allowed 18 hits in the game. The offense performed well, scoring seven runs on nine hits, but they were unable to overcome the horrid pitching of the night. Toby Gardenhire and Brandon Roberts both had two hits in the game, and Rene Tosoni hit his 12th home run of the season. Kyle Waldrop was the only Rock Cats pitcher to throw well in the game, as he worked two scoreless innings. The former starter has a 1.32 earned run average this season.
Fort Myers Miracle
The Miracle won a 13 inning affair on Saturday, taking a 8-7 victory over the Sarasota Reds. Michael Allen picked up the win in the game, working the final two innings, as he allowed no earned runs. Joe Testa also pitched well in the game, striking out five in two innings of work, while Blair Erickson also threw blanks for two innings. Evan Bigley had three hits in the game, driving in three runs, while Chris Parmelee had two knocks of his own. Joe Benson drove in two runs in the game, Mark Dolenc had a triples, as all but two Miracle starters had hits in the game.
The Snappers split a double-header against Cedar Rapids on Saturday, falling in the first game, before blowing out the Kernels in Game Two. Angel Morales continued his hot hitting in game one, collecting two hits, while Dominic De La Osa smacked his first home run of the season. Daniel Berlind went the whole way in a losing effort. Morales went off in game two as well, collecting two more hits, including his 11th home run of the season. Danny Rams had three hits, moving his batting average to .283, as he hit two doubles in the game. Daniel Osterbrock was very impressive, striking out 11 in 5.0 innings, and Kyle Carr worked two scoreless to seal the victory.