The Twins finished off a sweep of the Rangers, their third sweep of the second half, with another 4-2 victory. Matt Garza gave the Twins a strong start, going 6 1/3 innings and allowing a sole earned run on a leadoff home run by Frank Catalanatto. Glen Perkins again came in to tidy up, striking out two batters with a runner on second and one out. He looked very efficient, throwing twelve pitches to get three outs and putting nine of them in the strike zone. Joe Nathan earned his 34th save with a very quick ninth inning. The offense scored a run in each of the first three innings, and added another in the seventh. It was very disappointing, though, to see them load the bases in the sixth with nobody out and proceed to score exactly zero runs. Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel both went deep, and Nick Punto had two hits yet again, moving his average further and further from the Mendoza line and history (it now sits at .211). However, not to discredit him, but they were both infield hits.
And on to the stars. Torii Hunter had an interesting game, going 0-1 with 3 walks and getting caught stealing once. Justin Morneau picked up his 108th RBI with an RBI single in the first. Joe Mauer didn't manage to get on base in an 0-4 night that dropped his batting average to .287, its lowest point of the season. It's no wonder that the Twins have struggled in the second half with the way he and Morneau have also struggled, especially considering the myriad cast they have around them. I'm looking at you, Nick Punto.
Sorry for the brevity of this post, but we've been working on an entry for the off-day tomorrow. There will also be an extended analysis of Mauer's batting average added in this post. Come back tomorrow to see that and what the off-day post is (that includes you, Yerenia)!