The Twins smacked back-to-back home runs in the first inning and that was all the runs they needed Friday after starter Dylan Bundy and four relievers made it stand for a 2-1 win over the Texas Rangers.
It was the Twins’ fourth straight win, which is good because the Cleveland Guardians keep winning, too. The Guards knocked off the White Sox on Friday, a day after the South Siders were humbled 21-5 by the Houston Astros. The Twins remain a game out of first place in the AL Central, while the Pale Hose are now 3.5 games back of the top spot. Again, the Twins need to sweep Texas because immediately after the Rangers series the Twins head to Houston where the Astros are nearly an invincible 39-18 at home.
Chris Archer gets the ball Saturday.
-Two former Twins appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Friday: Hall of Famer Rod Carew participated in a short Q&A-style interview, while Fay Vincent, the former baseball commissioner, submitted an opinion piece that run under the headline “I still root for the underdog Yankees.” And one of those underdogs he roots for? Aaron Hicks, a former outfielder for the Twins who now plays for the Yankees.
Some of Carew’s Q&A responses…
On hitting .388 in 1977:
The ball just seemed like a beach ball. It seemed like the ball was slowing down and telling me, “Hit me, hit me, hit me.”
I remember the first game playing against the Orioles and (Twins teammate) Bob Allison told me I couldn’t bunt against Brooks Robinson. Well, I did. And he says, “You can’t do it again.” I said, “I can do it whenever I want to” because it’s something that I really worked on.
On how he would have faced Panama native Mariano Rivera:
He couldn’t get me out with the cutter. My hands are too quick! (Laughs) I wouldn’t let him get in there.
Meanwhile, Vincent, lamenting the current state of the swooning Yankees, cited Hicks as a prime example of why he roots for the underdog.
I have never met Mr. Hicks, but his gutsy performance with the press causes me to admire him. He has gone 2 for 18 at the plate in his past five games and was benched Tuesday. He may rise again, but then he may not. I admire the underdogs in life and baseball creates underdogs quickly.
-A few more photos of our trip to the Twin Cities:
Source: MLB.com, Wall Street Journal