May 9, 2024

It’s a win, but not a winning streak

The Twins and M’s have so far traded punches in this four-game series and appear likely to walk away with two wins apiece.

For the moment, though, the Twins are looking for the series win on Thursday after their 6-3 victory on Wednesday.

It was a balanced win. The team got plenty of pop from the lineup and just as much pitching as Chris Paddack allowed only one run over five-plus innings with 10 strikeouts. The bullpen served up two runs the rest of the way and Jhoan Duran closed out the game with his third save of the season. Not bad for a guy who only recently returned from the injured list.

At the dish, the Twins got six extra-base hits, including home runs from Carlos Correa, Trevor Larnach and Willi Castro, who also tripled, scored a run and drove in two more.

Pablo Lopez gets the ball Thursday.

Extra innings…

-The Twins are 21-15 and remain 2.5 games back of the Cleveland Guardians for the top spot in the AL Central.

-Ex-Twin Jose Berrios, who got off to a fantastic start this season with six of eight quality starts and an ERA of 1.44, turned in his first stinker on Tuesday after the Blue Jays were rocked by the Phillies 10-1. Berrios allowed eight runs, all earned, on seven hits across three-plus innings. There will be better starts from Jose.

-On May 8, 1984, Hall of Fame player Kirby Puckett stepped into the batter’s box for the first time as a Twin and had four hits in five trips to the plate in a 5-0 win over the California Angels. The rest, as they say, is history.

Puckett hit .296 for the Twins as a rookie and finished third in the Rookie of the Year vote behind two former M’s: Alvin Davis and Mark Langston.

-In that May 8 win, Frank Viola tossed a complete game four-hitter with three walks and six whiffs.

The Minneapolis Star and Tribune had this to say about Puckett in his major league debut.

“When Puckett was asked about his first-game fantasy, he answered, “I just wanted to hit.

“And he did, providing flashes last night of what (Manager Billy) Gardner and the Twins have been looking for, particularly in the seventh. He beat out an infield single and then scored.

“He was very impressive,” said Gardner, “but I like to judge a player in his second time around the league.

“Twins pitcher Ed Hodge, who played with Puckett in Toledo earlier this season, provided a revealing description. “From what I saw, he looks like just a good overall athlete. … He looks like he’s a star of the football team and probably the wrestling team. One of those guys.”

 

Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, Newspapers.com

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.