Wetmore: 5 thoughts on tons of runs, cycle watch, a key defensive play
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MINNEAPOLIS - The Twins thumped the Detroit Tigers on Friday in a game that had dozens of storylines from which to choose. It got so bad for the Tigers at one point that they had to use middle infielder Andrew Romine one the mound. Minnesota beat Detroit, 20-6.
This column presents 5 thoughts from Friday's game.
As always, feel free to ask questions or make observations in the comments. If you have a unique baseball observation during a game, feel free to share it with me on Twitter (@DerekWetmore).
1. The Twins offense exploded Friday night, scoring 20 runs for the first time since May 21, 2009. Just about everybody got in on the fun.
It would be hard to say enough good things about the Twins offense, so let's not waste any words. Danny Santana, Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer, Kennys Vargas, Oswaldo Arcia, Trevor Plouffe, Escobar and Jordan Schafer each had a good night at the plate.
Twenty hits, 20 runs, batting around twice. Really good night offensively for the Twins.
2. Given the final score, it's hard to believe there was a big situation for a Twins pitcher, but that was true on several occasions. Perhaps none more than when Ryan Pressly was called upon to face Miguel Cabrera with a runner on second and one out.
Pressly buzzed a 1-1 two-seam fastball inside and Cabrera had to move his feet to get out of the way as the ball kicked past the catcher Kurt Suzuki and all the way to the backstop. Cabrera stood in the box and stared out at the mound to let Pressly know he didn't appreciate the location of the pitch. The Twins then ordered an intentional walk to put Cabrera on first and face Victor Martinez, rather than pitch to one of the best hitters of a generation in a 2-1 count with a runner on third base in what was then a one-run game.
3. With Martinez at the plate, the Twins made perhaps the most important defensive play of the night. The Tigers had runners on first and third with one out and trailed by one run. Martinez hit a ground ball to Dozier's left. He ranged to field it and in one motion gloved it and turned toward the outfield to throw to second base, where Escobar was waiting to come across the bag and turn the double play. Dozier and Pressly each celebrated the feat.
Then the Twins scored 14 more runs and made it easy to forget that the double play at one point looked like the biggest play of the night.
4. Eduardo Escobar finished with a career-high five hits and a double shy of the cycle. He also kicked two errors at shortstop.
He hit a two-run home run in his first plate appearance. Then he singled in the next inning. He roped a ball to the center field wall in the sixth inning that Rajai Davis couldn't haul in. Escobar had an easy triple, and it looked for a moment like he would try for an inside-the-park home run. Third base coach Scott Ullger held Escobar and that set up the cycle watch.
Escobar got three more plate appearances (including one later that inning) to try to hit a double. He has 32 doubles on the year, but he had to settle for a pair of singles and a strikeout.
He said he's never had a cycle at any level, but five hits and a landslide victory must be a nice consolation prize.
5. The day started off with a report in the Star Tribune that Terry Ryan and Ron Gardenhire are expected to be back next season, according to Ryan.
Ryan addressed the media Friday, like he does before nearly every Twins home game, and he did not rescind his comments. He did say, however, that a lot can happen in six weeks, so it's too early in the season to assure job security for the manager or the GM.