The AL Central: Where .500 Means You’re In It
A 3-run shot by Paul Konerko behind Gavin Floyd’s seven solid frames (W, 8-6, 7 IP 3H 7K 2BB 3) took a David Price floater to left in the third, ending the Sox offense for the evening before a sold-out Monday night at the Cell. The return of Carlos Quentin (1 for 4) from an May foot injury demonstrated the intense outfielder’s preference for camping on the plate — Q is still tied for third in AL in HBP despite being out for two months — He still constantly fouls straight back and will need a better look to resume contributing.
AJ Pierzynski gunned down two runners and Scotty Podsednik went 3 for 3, sporting a remarkably refined stroke at the plate that promises traction in the Sox’s campaign to be the kings of a very small AL Central hill. The Sox are a single game behind the idle Tigers and 4 over .500 at 48-44.
When your starter allows 11 runs, it’s usually safe to assume 1) the phone line to the bullpen has fallen victim to a backhoe and 2) parking lot traffic won’t be at its peak at the 9th inning. But if history’s taught us anything, it’s that when the Twins are involved, the improbable outcome can never be ruled out. Despite A’s starter Gio Gonzales’ 2.2 inauspicious innings and 11 ERs, Oakland mounted the greatest comeback in their history to defeat Burl Ives and company 14-13. The 27-run 39-hit extravaganza ended on a bang-bang play in the 9th. A Michael Wuertz wild pitch got past Kurt Suzuki who grabbed it on a carom and got it back to Wuertz at the plate to tag out an incredulous Michael Cuddyer and drop the Twins to 2.5 back in the division. Reports of a low moaning sound resuming from former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman’s home could not be confirmed at press time.