This “just in” — Justin Morneau can still hit dingers. The Twins first baseman hit two of them this afternoon against the White Sox: a grand slam in the seventh off of Ramon Troncoso to give the Twins a 5-3 lead, and a solo shot in the eighth to remove the save opportunity for closer Glen Perkins by bumping the score to 7-3. Perkins gave up two runs in the ninth on an Alexei Ramirez single, but held on for the 7-5 victory in game one of the day-night doubleheader.
August has been kind to Morneau thus far. In 36 trips to the plate, he has hit five home runs and has only struck out five times. He entered the afternoon 8-for-11 with the bases loaded, but with no grand slams. The slam is his first since July 20, 2009 when he took Gio Gonzalez of the Athletics deep in a wacky 14-13 loss.
The Twins and White Sox match up again shortly as Liam Hendriks is scheduled to face off against Charles Leesman, making his Major League debut for the White Sox.
Last night Jason Giambi became the oldest player in baseball history to hit a walk-off home run when he took White Sox reliever Ramon Troncoso deep in the ninth inning to turn a tie game into a 3-2 win for the Indians.
The previous oldest walk-off hitter? Hank Aaron at 42 years and 157 days (it was his second-to-last career homer). Giambi was 42 years and 202 days.
The Indians and White Sox are slated to play two games tonight, but they may have exhausted all their weapons in game one. The two clubs combined for 29 runs over a nine-inning affair, hanging up crooked numbers in seven different innings as the Indians won 19-10. All but two members of the Indians’ starting lineup (Asdrubal Cabrera, Mark Reynolds) had at least two runs batted in and Reynolds was the only one not to have multiple hits.
White Sox hurlers Hector Santiago, Brian Omogrosso, Ramon Troncoso, and Matt Lindstrom combined to allow 19 runs. They were then shown up in the ninth inning when Casper Wells, an outfielder by trade, held the Indians scoreless in the top of the ninth. Wells worked around a one-out walk of Mike Aviles, striking out Cabrera and getting Jason Kipnis to fly out to end the frame. Craig noted on Twitter that Wells was hitting the low 90’s with movement on his fastball.