A sweep, even of the lowly Royals who now own an 11-game losing streak, is always very nice. The Twins battled for tough wins in the first two games, with both going into extra innings, but made it much easier on themselves in the third and final game.
Kevin Slowey had a magnificent game, one-upping Nick Blackburn's start from Tuesday. As did Blackburn, Slowey went into the ninth looking for a complete game, shutout, and win. Blackburn ended up with zero of the three, but Slowey was able to bring home both the complete game and the win, after giving up two doubles and one run in the last frame. They were the first extra base hits for the Royals, who were only able to get six hits off of Slowey for the game. Again, like Blackburn, Slowey was very economical, throwing first-pitch strikes to 25 of the 31 batters he faced and throwing only 101 pitches to complete the game, with 74 of them going for strikes. Incredibly, Alex Gordon saw the first (and only) 3-ball count in the ninth inning.
Carlos Gomez went 4-5, although he went 0-2 stealing bases, and Alexi Casilla continued his hot hitting with a 3-4 night. Joe Mauer also had 2 hits, meaning the 1-2-3 hitters combined to go 9-13 with two walks and got on base 11 of 15 times. Somehow, they still only combined to score two runs. Now, obviously, batting average isn't everything, but this means that the first four hitters (Justin Morneau being #4) are all hitting over .290. The last five? No one is hitting better than .260.
With starts like Blackburn's and Slowey's the bullpen is becoming obsolete, but for some reason the Twins still felt like they needed to make a move there. They signed left-hander Craig Breslow, who had been designated for assignment by the Indians. He has very little big league experience and I don't expect big things from him, but he's left-handed which means he could find a team somewhere even if he was laying in a hospital bed. Whether this will relegate Dennys Reyes back to LOOGY duties, or whether that will be Breslow's job, remains to be seen.
All in all, it was a good three days for the Twins. A tougher test awaits them this weekend, as they head back home to take on the New York Yankees. That means I'll actually be able to watch the game on TV (albeit with the dreadful YES announcers)!
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