Tonight was not the pitchers duel that we anticipated between Jason Vargas and Carl Pavano. In fact, it was anything but a pitchers duel. The M's started out early on a 2 run home run by Jack Cust in the first inning, in which I called. Jack Cust went into the game hitting .600 against Pavano and I said it was going to be like Custmas today!
We got a run in the 2nd on Chris Gimenez double to right field, another run in the 3rd on a Peguero infield out that scored Cust from third base and we were looking good at 4 - 1.
Then Vargas broke. In the fourth inning after getting Justin Morneau to fly out he gave up a walk and up to the plate came Mr. Jim Thome. Thome just off the DL today, generated some excitement as he was up to the plate. Only two HR's on the year, he worked Vargas to full count after being down 0 - 2. Next delivery by Vargas was crushed a country mile over the bleachers in right field for a 465 foot HR. The woes continued for Vargas in the fifth as the Twins took the lead 5 - 4 and Vargas found himself an early exit after just 4 and 2/3 innings.
Aaron Laffey came in and retired the first 6 batters he saw before giving up an infield single to Michael Cuddyer. Jim Thome once again stepped up to the plate and hit a HR, this time over the left field fence and the Twins took a commanding lead 7 - 4.
M's went 1,2,3 in the 7th and it looked as though they were winding down. All of a sudden, in the 8th with one out the M's decided that they weren't going down without a fight. Brendan Ryan hit a single and advanced to second on a passed ball, Jack Wilson reached on an infield single which was later ruled an error and we had runners on first and third. One out! Wedge decided to pinch hit Adam Kennedy for Chris Gimenez which proved to be an amazing decision as Kennedy hit a single to right scoring Brendan Ryan and once again we had runners at the corners. Ichiro came up and hit a soft grounder and the only play was to second to get Kennedy allowing Wilson to score.
On to the ninth, still down by one, two outs. Michael Saunders pinch running for Smoak stole second on a Cust strike out and Guti hit a ball back to the pitcher for out number two. Last chance, Carlos Peguero.
M's closed the door in the ninth with Jamey Wright. A passed ball that put a runner at second allowed for the M's to bypass Jim Thome and not have to pitch to him probably saved us more than it did hurt us as Wright got out of a 1st and 2nd base jam.
The tenth inning Jack Wilson came up and hit a lead-off single and the M's did everything right and better from there. Olivo followed with a single. Ichiro sacrificed them to second and third. Figgins was intentionally walked and L-Rod, Luis Rodriguez came up and hit a sac-fly, scoring Wilson to get the lead once again. 8 - 7 bottom 10.
Brandon "I don't want to be a minor leaguer" League came in and SHUT IT DOWN! 6 pitches, just 6 pitches and the M's were celebrating there 6th victory in a row.
As a fan it was a great game to watch. I feel bad for Vargas today as he has to be the one to break our streak of consecutive quality starts, but we have to give it up to the offense one more time. Once again, 15 hits, this time 8 runs and a come from behind win. I know it may be a little played out, but REFUSE TO LOSE ran through my mind as we had two runners on in the 10th and nobody out. Everyday we keep finding a way, everyday I keep liking our chances more and more. Still a game and a half back, but once again we find ourselves just one game away from a .500 winning percentage. Tomorrow we'll do it all over again.
Hopefully with a bit less anxiety....