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Two (Bad) Innings Topple the Twins in Loss to Red Sox

Sometimes a team needs just one bad inning to lose a ball game. The Twins had two (really) bad innings in a 10-2 loss to the cross-town Red Sox.

Jason Marquis made the start for the Twins and struck out two in a scoreless first inning. He came back out for the second frame and things did not go well at all. Marquis gave up four runs on three hits, a couple of walks and three wild pitches. The pace of the game slowed dramatically that second inning.

Jeff Manship came in and quickly recorded the final out of the 2nd inning. He pitched a quick third inning as well, although he did give up a long home run to former Twin David Ortiz, who was playing 1B for the Red Sox. Liam Hendriks pitched very well. He struck out three in two scoreless innings. Carlos Gutierrez came in and quickly struck out two in his inning. [PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

Then came the 7th inning. Deolis Guerra came in and really struggled. He fell behind most hitters and paid for it. He gave up five runs on four hits and a walk. Biggest hit was a 3-run homer off the bat of prospect Dan Butler. Brendan Wise came in and threw a perfect 8th inning. Tyler Robertson gave up a leadoff single but struck out two in a scoreless ninth.

Offensively, the Twins managed seven hits. Joe Mauer had two of them, a solid single to left field on a fastball and a line drive single to right on a slow curveball. Denard Span was 1-2 with a walk. Josh Willingham was 1-1 with a walk and was hit by a pitch.

The positive story of the game, in my mind, was the performance of righty Carlos Gutierrez. He must have taken manager Ron Gardenhire’s post scrimmage comments last Thursday to heart. Recall that Gutierrez walked three batters and then gave up a double before the inning was called of without recording a third out. In this appearance, Gutierrez was very aggressive. He threw hard, but he threw a lot of strikes. What he found was that the movement and velocity on his pitches made the ball hard to hit. He struck out two batters and just looked incredibly impressive.
Attached Image: Gutierrez2.jpg

(photo courtesy Jim Crikket)

Other highlights including the pitching of Australians Liam Hendriks and Brendan Wise. Hendriks is the Twins top pitching prospect. We saw him in September last year. He showed good control and movement on his pitches. Brendan Wise is a 26-year-old minor league free agent who is yet to reach the major leagues. He profiles similarly to Kyle Waldrop in that he is a ground ball machine. We saw that tonight with two weak groundballs. I hope he is given a legitimate opportunity to make the Twins roster in 2012 after posting ERAs of 2.08 and 1.90 the last two seasons with the Tigers’ AAA affiliate in Toledo.

The Twins will return to the field at noon on Tuesday.


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