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Updated: April 6th, 2010 8:04am
So far, so good for Jon Rauch

So far, so good for Jon Rauch

by Tom Pelissero
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Good sign for the Minnesota Twins: Joe Mauer, J.J. Hardy and slumping Justin Morneau hitting home runs in Tuesday's 5-3 wins over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Better sign: Nick Blackburn getting out of a first-inning jam to throw 6 2/3 quality innings.

Best sign: Jon Rauch working an efficient, 1-2-3 ninth inning to convert his first save opportunity since replacing Joe Nathan.

Rauch needed only 16 pitches (11 strikes) to retire the side. His fastball clocked as high as 91 mph, his curve at 74, and he looked to have a great rhythm.

"It's always nerve-wracking when you're trying to replace a guy like Nathan," Rauch told the Star Tribune after the game. "Just trying to think about going out there and getting it over with and getting that win."

The teams meet again at 9:05 CT tonight.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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