When the Minnesota Twins’ “A” lineup – or the players that most represent an “A” lineup since the injury to Justin Morneau – takes the field, they look like a formidable foe.
The Twins posted a nine-spot on Tuesday to take the first game of a three-game series from the Chicago White Sox 9-3. The Twins’ lead in the AL Central is now atÂ seven games over Chicago.
Aside from the offense, Francisco Liriano had some ups and downs. He was dominant at times, but he pitched himself into a few jams too. Liriano allowed three runs in six innings of work.
This is where locking up the division comes into play. Liriano really seemed to benefit from extra rest a few weeks ago. Ideally, the Twins could put themselves in a position down the stretch to give Liriano an extra day or two here or there. Does that mean Liriano lacks the toughness or endurance to make it through a full season on regular rest? Think what you want. The important thing is that the Twins have him pitching at his best in October.
And the return of left-handed reliever Brian Fuentes has been a nice addition to the team. He cruised through the eighth inning before giving way to Jon Rauch.
Some of the injured pieces are starting to come back. But it’s important now for the Twins to finish off the Sox, then start toÂ give an extra day off here or there toÂ some of their key players. Morneau is out, and the Twins can ill afford to lose anyone else.