Twins 8 (7-3) Red Sox 0
- Thursday afternoons game could be best titled "Return of the Franchise" as Francisco Liriano was dominant in the Twins 8-0 victory over the Red Sox which clinched their third straight series win in as many chances. Liriano went seven shutout innings on only four hits along with two walks and eight strikeouts to lower his era to 2.08 and improve his record to 1-0 on the young season. Yesterday was very encouraging as Twins fans have been waiting for years for Liriano to return to his 2006 form and if just for one start he was. He got ahead with the fastball and then put them away with his untouchable slider darting down and in on the right handing hitters. The question is can he follow it up with another good start his next time out that is the big question. However, it was a very encouraging sign for Twins fans because when Francisco Liriano pitchs like "The Francise" the Twins go from a good team to a special team and a team capable of going to the World Series. Jose Mijares then came on in the eighth inning and although he struggled falling behind every hitter while giving up two hits and walking a batter he still was able to get the double play to get out of the inning unscathed. With the one shutout inning Mijares lowered his era on the year to 6.00. Ron Mahey then came on and made his season debut for the Twins pitching a 1-2-3 inning to seal the shutout for the Twins.
- The Twins showed what they can do to pitching staffs this year as they battered Tim Wakefield and company with eight runs on 15 hits. It could have been much worse as the Twins left 11 guys on base and believe it or not of the 15 hits Joe Mauer did not collect any as he went 0-4 at the plate with a walk. Believe it or not the hitting star in this one was Nick Punto who went 3-4 at the plate and scored 2 runs to raise his average on the year to .269. If Punto could hit .260-.270 it would be good enough as his defense is superior so he doesn't have to do alot to justify putting him in the lineup. Justin Morneau went 3-5 at the dish along with his seventh rbi of the year to raise his average to .342. Denard Span went 2-5 at the plate with his second and third doubles of the year to bring his average up to .189. Michael Cuddyer went 2-3 with his second homerun in as many days and three rbi's to bring his total up to six. Jason Kubel went 2-4 at the plate to bring his average up to .286. Orlando Hudson also added his third double of the year in the winning cause for the Twins.
- Tonight, the Twins play their first game under the lights as they welcome in the Kansas City Royals as Scott Baker gets the start tonight against Royals ace and reigning Cy Young Award winner Zach Grienke. Gametime is at 7:10 at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Lehigh Valley 4 Rochester 1 (3-5)
- The Red Wings saw their two game winning streak with a hard fought 4-1 loss to Lehigh Valley last night. Jeff Manship got the start for the Wings and was ok except the three homeruns that he allowed. Manship pitches to contact and there are going to be days when the contact is 400 feet from home plate and last night was one of those nights. However, don't be fooled it was not like he gave up 10 runs he only gave up 4 runs and on most nights that will be good enough to get you a win. Manship worked five innings and gave up four runs on seven hits including the three homeruns along with five strikeouts. With the four runs allowed Manship's era on the young season is at 5.19. Matt Fox then came on and did wonderful pitching three shutout innings of relief on only one hit along with a strikeout to lower his era to 3.00.
- Offensively, the Wings could not do much against Lehigh Valley starter Nate Bump as they were only able to get an unearned run off of him. Granted two of the best hitters on the Wings team Wilson Ramos and Danny Valencia got the day off. However, the Wings were only able to get seven hits off Lehigh Valley pitching. The Wings were led by Brock Peterson and Dustin Martin who each went 2-4 at the plate in this one for the Wings. With the two hits Peterson is hitting .318 while Martin is hitting .333. Trevor Plouffe, Brian Dinkelman, and Allan De San Miguel each contributed a base hit in the losing cause for the Red Wings.
- Tonight, the Red Wings finish off their opening nine game roadtrip as Glen Perkins gets the start as the Wings attempt to finish the road trip off with a win and a 4-5 road trip. Gametime is at 6:05 in Lehigh Valley.
New Britain Business
Harrisburg 6 New Britain 5 (0-7)
- The Rockcats found another way to lose a game as Harrisburg scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Rockcats 6-5. After New Britain took a 5-3 lead in the eighth inning they saw three consecutive runs scored by Harrisburg in the last two frames to lose their seventh consecutive game. Mike Mccardell got the start for New Britain and worked 5.2 innings and gave up three runs on six hits along with two walks and four strikeouts to bring his era to 4.66. Chris Province then came in and did an ok job as he worked 1.2 innings and gave up a run on two hits to bring his era down to 7.94 on the year. Province got off to a rocky start to the season, but lately he has been getting a little bit better each outing and I think he will be just fine. Joe Testa saw his struggles at the AA level continue in this one as he worked one inning and gave up two runs on two hits along with two walks and a strikeout to pick up the loss and go to 0-2 on the year and saw his era jump to 17.18. To be fair though when he left the game their were runners on first and second and the Rockcats had a 5-4 lead. Santos Arias came on and blew the save and let the two inherited runners score.
- To be all honest the Rockcats had their best offensive night of the year so far in that they scored five runs on 10 hits. The eight runners left on base really hurt, but you should look at it as a step in the right direction as there is too much talent on this team for them not to score runs. The guy who is not struggling at the plate at all early in the season is Danny Lehmann who has taken the catching job and ran with it. Last night Lehmann went 2-2 at the plate with his first triple of the year along with a sacrifice fly for his second rbi of the year. With the two hits he is now hitting a robust .368 already. Another guy who is hitting the ball early is Chris Parmelee who went 2-4 with his third double and fifth rbi to bring his average up to .321. Whit Robbins is possibly coming out of his early season slump as he went 2-5 with his first double of the year. Joe Benson and Steve Singleton each contributed their second doubles of the year too.
- Tonight, the Rockcats have a major task in front of them. They continue their series with Harrisburg and face Super prospect Steven Strasburg. Tyler Robertson gets the assignment for New Britain with first pitch at 6:00 in Harrisburg.
Fort Myers Minutes
Port Charlotte 7 Fort Myers 0 (2-5)
- The Miracle ran into a buzz saw in Port Charlotte starting pitcher Nick Barnese who shut the Miracles offense down to three hits in seven innings in the Miracles 7-0 loss to rival Port Charlotte. Bobby Lanigan got the start and was ok, but was let down by his defense as they allowed two unearned runs. Lanigan went 4.2 innings giving up three runs although only one of them was earned on three hits along with two walks and five strikeouts to lower his era on the year to 0.84. Lanigan has gotten off to the kind of start you want out of him so here is hoping that he can keep it up. Michael Allen then followed Lanigan and gave up a run on one hit along with one walk and two strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work. Blake Martin then came on and was not very effective. Martin worked two innings and gave up three runs on four hits along with two walks and a strikeout to bring his era on the year to 8.44.
- Last night was one of those nights that the hitters just have to tip their hats to the pitching as it was excellent as the Miracle only managed four hits in this one. The funny thing about this one is three of the four hits were extra base hits. Dan Rohlfing got his first double, Evan Bigley got his second, and Drew Thompson also got his second double of the year. Yangervis Solarte also added a single in the losing cause for the Miracle in this one. In other news Paul Kelly has missed a couple games due to a mildly sprained ankle so look for him to get back in there any day now. It is a good thing it was not more serious as early on he has been one of the best hitters on the Miracle.
- Tonight, the Miracle begin a series with Palm Beach as Bruce Pugh gets the start for Fort Myers. Gametime is scheduled for 6:05 in Palm Beach.
Kane County 5 Beloit 4 (3-5)
- The Snappers suffered a tough to take 5-4 loss to Kane County last night as the Cougars rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth off relievers Matthew Tone and Kane Holbrooks to get the win. Miguel Munoz got the start for Beloit and was excellent in this one as he went five shutout innings on only three hits along with three walks and three strikeouts to lower his era to 0.90. Peter Kennelly then came on and was not very good for the Snappers giving up two runs on two hits along with two walks in only 1/3 of an inning for Beloit. Edgar Ibarra then came on and was very good going 1.2 innings and only giving up one hit along with a walk and three strikeouts to lower his era on the year to 9.82. Matt Tone then came on and was betrayed by his control as he gave up three runs on no hits along with three walks and three strikeouts to take the loss. Kane Holbrooks was not blameless either after Tone walked the bases loaded as he gave up a bases clearing double that turned a 4-2 lead into a 5-4 loss.
- The Snappers offensively had a pretty nice night as they put up 10 hits and showed some really good at bats. The Snappers were led by Brian Dozier who has shown early on that he is probably playing a level too low for him as he continues to dominate the Midwest League. Dozier went 3-5 at the plate to bring his average up to .360. Derek Mccallum had a good game going 2-5 at the plate along with his third rbi. Michael Gonzalez connected on his second homerun of the year. Danny Rams and Angel Morales each contributed a double with it being Rams third double of the year and Morales' second. Steve Liddle went 1-3 and also added his second and third stolen bases of the year.
- Tonight, the Snappers continue their series with Kane County as Brad Stillings is scheduled to pitch for Beloit. Gametime is at 6:30 in Kane County.
- I want to remind everyone that Monday night I have a very special edition of the Travis Talks Minnesota Sports Podcast Monday at 9pm. I will have Aaron Gleeman of aarongleeman.com and also of nbcsports.com on the podcast at nine. I also should have another guest that I can not quite announce at this time, but tune in it should be a fun show.