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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Twins Win Home Opener

--posted by Tony Garcia on 4/12/2006

I was at the game last night, and let me tell you, the team that played last night wasn't the team that's been out on the road for the beginning of the season so far. They were energized, ran out throws to first, made diving catches (for anyone other than Torii Hunter that's something of note), and put forth what looked to be their best efforts. After being down 4-0 going into the bottom of the third, "Thanks again, Brad Radke," the Twins rallied early to bring in six runs. The first three were brought in by advancing runners effectively, scoring Stewart and Castillo on a Mauer single and scoring Mauer with a Hunter single. The last three were brought in when third baseman Tony Batista knocked one out into left field, scoring White and Hunter. Except for two men reaching base in ways that don't count towards the batting average, an error and a fielder's choice, the hits that came in the third were the first for the team in the night. It was a spark that the crowd needed to stand up and cheer and that in turn was a spark for the team, or so I believe. The crowd stayed on their feet the entire third while all the scoring and base running happened. I haven't seen that many people at a Twins game in quite some time, and to see them all on their feet for more than a few batters was something else. Knocking our score up to seven was Justin Morneau with a shot that was so poweful that there was no real arc to it, it was a line drive directly into the right field upper deck. As soon as he hit it you knew it was gone, again causing the crowd to cheer for a better part of the inning. Jesse Crain came in at the top of the eighth and made things interesting when he gave up a single to Crosby and then a home run on the first pitch for Chavez. We weren't able to do anything really in the bottom of the eighth so it was still a save situation, which meant one thing; Joe Nathan. From the time that he stepped out of the bullpen, while the announcer informed us of the pitching change, everyone was on their feet and clapping, non-stop. Breaks in the action, giving up a walk to the second hitter, it didn't matter everyone was showing their support for the Twins #1 closer and one of the better ones in the league I say. Fireworks followed on the west side of the dome outside after the game which seemed the perfect finale for an excellent evening of Twins baseball.



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