Baker, Kubel Come Up Big For Minnesota, Outfield Still Shaky
After a 10-1 drubbing at the hands of the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday, the Twins couldn’t afford to lose 2 out of 3 to them. In a key spot, Scott Baker pitched 7 strong innings with 10 strikeouts in an 11-3 win on Thursday.
Baker received plenty of offensive support, with Jason Kubel hitting two three-run home runs. His six RBI’s were one short of his career high of seven. Denard Span and Justin Morneau also had home runs for the Twins, who are one game below .500.
Now just 2 ½ games behind the Tigers, the Twins begin a crucial 10 game road trip, beginning Friday in Seattle. Just 6-16 on the road, the Twins need to find a way to win if they are going to make a serious run at the Central Division Title.
Joe Mauer continued his hot-hitting May into June, going 3-4 in today’s game. He has hit in five straight games, and currently has a batting average of .436.
Scott Baker credited a small change in mechanics after a win against Milwaukee, but gave up four runs in his next start against Tampa Bay. Hopefully, the Twins can start getting some consistent starts from Baker.
The problem comes in Left Field. Jason Kubel has proven to be a great designated hitter, but neither Gomez nor Delmon Young have been consistent at the plate. Both are young players with loads of potential, but Manager Ron Gardenhire has been hesitant to put them in.
One of both players’ problems could be that they haven’t been able to get into a rhythm because they don’t play a consistent amount. For now, the big three of Mauer, Morneau, and Kubel have been able to do enough damage offensively, but one of those two players will have to contribute in a big way.
By Matt Baxendell
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