Twins Defeat Sox, Lose Alexi Casilla.

Dan WadeSenior Analyst IJuly 29, 2008

The Twins won a nail biter in game two of the four game series to pull themselves all but even with the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central. The game was very different from the Twins 7-0 win the night before, they spotted the Sox a 4-0 lead before a five-run fifth gave the Twins the lead for good.

Joe Mauer's RBI single in 7th gave the Twins the insurance run they would need. Joe Nathan got the first two outs, but Nick Swisher took his 3-2 pitch deep and out, over the baggy in right to pull the Sox within one. Twins fans no doubt had visions of Todd Jones and the Sox comeback win over the Tigers last Friday as Carlos Quentin stepped into the batters box against Nathan.

Todd Jones was once a nasty closer, but no longer. Joe Nathan, on the other hand, can still be downright filthy. One pitch was all he needed to get Quentin who meekly grounded out to end the game. The Twins sit just 1/2 game behind the Sox, marking the closest the Twins have been to first place since they shared the division lead with KC and Cleveland at 1-0.

The Twins joy was muted after the game, however, by news that Alexi Casilla would be headed to the DL for an undetermined length of time. Casilla was one of the young players who ignited the Twins' hot streak and had established himself as a force in the lineup and the Twins everyday second baseman.

Casilla tore a ligament in his hand sliding into second base during game one of this series. His injury makes him the third Twin to miss substantial time with a hand injury. Michael Cuddyer and Matt Tolbert are both on the DL from their injuries sustained in late June and mid-May respectively.

If Casilla's injury is as bad as either Tolbert's or Cuddyer's, he will be done for the year, which would be a huge blow to the Twins. The next few days will be critical ones for the Twins as they decide what to do without their starting second baseman, and as they face the White Sox's young studs, Gavin Floyd and John Danks.

The worst the Twins can do now is a split, but even that would be disappointing; they have all the momentum now and should be playing for a clean sweep of the (barely) division leaders.