Before the start of tonight's Twins/Angels finale, I kept thinking about the absurdity of twatching the Halos' recent output; hoping beyond hope that your favorite team can win a series against a crummy AL cellar dweller, interspersed with moments of pure, unadulterated magic. Sure, it's not an optimal way to spend the baseball season. But you know what? Sometimes, you just need a nice, high-scoring game to bring it all home. Tonight, we got the high scoring, and we got the exalted Minnesota series win.
This game was a bold, multi-faceted attack that featured not only a great, bounce-back performance from starter Hector Santiago, but some potent bats and some defensive flashing of leather. Santiago managed to get past the first couple innings, and then some, so that's a victory in and of itself. In fact, he was good for a solid 6.0 IP, giving up just 2 H and 1 ER. He also had 5 Ks of Twins batters, and pretty much at all times, Santiago was in charge from the mound.
The Twins starter, Tyler Duffey, was doing a decent job of silencing the Angels himself, until the Angels began chipping away in the fourth, which lead to some serious floodgates opening up. Heading into the bottom of the fourth, we had a brisk, scoreless game, but everything was about to be changed. Jefry Marte, continuing his surprising dominance, singled home a run off of Duffey, and then when the Twins loaded up the bases, a groundout from Jett Bandy scored another run. 2-0 Angels lead, just like that.
In the next inning, things got real. First, Kurt Suzuki singled home a run off of Hector Santiago, giving the Twins their first run. In the bottom of that same frame, however, the Angels got it back and then some. A C.J. Cron single, followed by Jefry Marte getting walked with bases loaded gave the Angels a 4-1 lead. Throw in a couple RBI singles from Jett Bandy and Andrelton Simmons, and you have yourself a bonafide Halo Blitz. They left the fifth on top a staggering 7-1.
But wait, there's more!
In the sixth, Albert Pujols jumped in on the action with a run-scoring single, and then Cron blasted a two-run double, making the score 10-1 and driving the Angels' runs and hits totals into the double digits. My favorite part of this punishment they were doling out was the fact that it was largely coming from the middle of the order...like Pujols, Cron and Marte. Those guys combined for six hits and six runs all by themselves, more than enough to have put away the Twinkies for good.
That's what you want to see out of that 4-5-6, and at this rate, I don't care how Marte plays LF. If that's the bat he's going to swing, just play the guy, it don't matter.
The Angels would go into cruise control after that, and behind some good bullpen pitching, and some insanely good arm strength from Andrelton Simmons, the Angels would more or less tame the Twins. In the battle of AL losers, in this round belonged to our boys in red.
It took a whole lotta runs, and a whole lotta Flo Rida, but these guys came to life just in time to save face against a really bad team. Good for them. Who knows what they'll look like in their next series, or the series after that. Tonight, just enjoy the display of offense, and the Return of Simba. Life's simple pleasures.