Mauer gets first homer at Target Field; Twins top White Sox 7-6

[picappgallerysingle id="9440977"]Joe Mauer finally did it; he hit his first regular season home run at the new Target Field. Mauer’s field, really – at least, it will be for the next eight years. Mauer and the rest of the Twins lineup combined for 13 hits to aid struggling starting pitcher Francisco Liriano and guide the Twins to a 7-6 win over the White Sox.

I’d tell you how many games that puts the White Sox back behind the Twins in the race for the American League central division lead, but I’ve lost count. Just kidding.

Francisco Liriano did not have a particularly good night, giving up five runs in as many innings. Fortunately, White Sox starting pitcher Gavin Floyd didn’t have a stellar night, either – he gave up seven runs in six innings. I think those two were just a little jacked up last night.

There were no heroics from Jim Thome last night, though he did have a run. But the Twins didn’t need to rely on him. First of all, the relief pitching was much improved – how refreshing to see a successful Jeff Manship take the mound, and Jesse Crain was, as usual, fantastic. The guy is almost unhittable. The Twins couldn’t have asked for more from their bullpen last night.

And most importantly, Matt Capps didn’t blow the save. He gave up a run, but not enough to edge the game into extra innings. Thank goodness for that.

Offensively, the Twins were terrific. Mauer had four hits last night, and Michael Cuddyer, Delmon Young, J.J. Hardy, Danny Valencia, Denard Span, Jason Kubel, and Orlando Hudson all had hits, plus most had RBI on the night. That’s pretty much the entire lineup.

And that’s why the Twins have won 24 games out of their last 31 games.

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