Within Striking Distance

AlexAnalyst IJuly 27, 2008

The first road trip of the second half didn’t get off to a very good start for the Twins. They lost the final game of the Texas series and then headed to New York where they were swept. Things weren’t looking good as the White Sox kept winning and the Twins kept losing.

After losing the series opener against the Indians on Friday, the Twins were finally able to end their five-game losing streak on Saturday with some breakout offense. In the series finale, the Twins were looking for a series win, and with a White Sox loss, they were also looking to get within two and a half games before the critical series between the two clubs on Monday.

The Twins couldn’t get a hit or base runner in the first five innings as Jeremy Sowers shut them down inning after inning. In the sixth inning they finally put a tally in the hits column and later in the runs column with a few pesky hits.

With a 2-1 lead in the eighth, the Twins for some reason brought in Dennys Reyes to relieve Blackburn. Gardenhire is always all about match-ups, but it wasn’t a smart move. Reyes needed to retire the right-handed batter before he’d even face the lefty. Plus, Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain are both more than capable of retiring a left-handed batter.

Reyes allowed two hits and a run before Gardenhire finally pulled him. A nice catch by Denard Span saved them from falling behind. Guerrier did a solid job in relief of Reyes, even retiring a lefty.

In the ninth, Morneau came up clutch once again putting one in the left-center gap on a 3-1 pitch from Indians’ closer Rafael Perez.

The win was a key one as the Twins somewhat salvaged their road trip and moved within a good distance of the White Sox before the key four-game set.