Sports Xchange, Published June 24 2013
Doumit is getting it done for TwinsRyan Doumit might be the hottest hitter on the Twins team. That designation is made with Justin Morneau breaking out a slump and the always-hitting Joe Mauer on the same team (and with the possible exception of Brian Dozier, who had four of his seven home runs this season in a recent five-game span). Regardless, Doumit continues to produce and that has been huge for the Twins.
For the second time in June, he delivered a clutch, late-inning hit to give the Twins a win. On June 1, it was a two-run, walk-off triple. On June 18 against the White Sox, he had a two-out, two-strike, two-run double that snapped a 5-5 tie in the eighth.
"It's a nice little streak that I'm on, but I don't take anything for granted," Doumit said. "The hardest thing in the world to do is hit a baseball, especially when it's coming in at 95, 96 (mph)."
Doumit had eight RBI in the first six games of the month and then went without driving in a run until the first game in the White Sox series. He kept it going in the second game, batting 2-for-3 with two walks in the Twins 7-4 win.
In the final game of the series, Doumit singled in his first at-bat and a double in his second time up for his third-consecutive multi-hit game.
Doumit's hot bat is big for the Twins as it gives some flexibility to manager Ron Gardenhire to rest his other big bats in the lineup. Doumit is the backup catcher and has been part time DH. Starting Doumit at catcher allows Mauer a day off from behind the plate or for him to move to first base, so Morneau can get a much-needed day off. Doumit's versatility has allowed Mauer and Morneau to play often this season, which has been a big plus.
The key for Doumit is to take his bat on the road. The Twins embarked on a weekend road trip to Cleveland, and after two hitless games (0-for-9) Doumit got back on track with a 2-for-4 (plus a walk) game in the Twins' 5-3 win.
Unfortunately for Doumit, he left the game in the bottom of the ninth inning after planting his foot awkwardly at home plate in the top of the inning. Trying to score from second base (which he did), Doumit side-stepped the catcher and the base and appeared to tweak his ankle.
"He tweaked his ankle," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We've got a day off, that's probably a good thing."
Hopefully Doumit is not hurt badly, and if he keeps hitting like he has, perhaps Twins fans can begin to take his contributions for granted.
MLB Team Report - Minnesota Twins - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won one
PAST 10 GAMES: 5-5
NEXT: Tuesday -- Twins (Kevin Correia, 6-4, 3.87) at Marlins (Jose Fernandez, 4-4, 3.05).
--RHP Mike Pelfrey was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday and placed on the disabled list with a back strain. Pelfrey suffered the injury running in the outfield prior to Saturday's game.
--LHP Pedro Hernandez was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start Sunday's game in place of injured RHP Mike Pelfrey. He pitched five innings, allowing two runs and three hit to get the win. In five appearances with Rochester, Hernandez was 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA. He will be sent back down to Rochester June 24.
--LHP Caleb Thielbar set a Twins record for consecutive appearances with zero runs to start his major league career. Thielbar has not allowed a run over his first 12 appearances, covering 13 2/3 innings.
--P.J. Walters pitched 2/3 of an inning and walked five batters in the first inning Saturday night. Walters is the first Twins starter to pitch 2/3 of an inning and walk five since Joe Decker did it on June 10, 1975, against the Indians.
--RHP Kevin Correia will start Tuesday night in Miami. In 16 career appearances, nine of them starts, vs. the Marlins, Correia has a record of 4-4 and a 6.52 ERA.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was a good win for us. That's what we were hoping for. We were hoping (LHP Pedro Hernandez) could get through five innings. He gave us that. We were definitely needing those innings."-- Manager Ron Gardenhire after Sunday's win.
MLB Team Report - Minnesota Twins - ROSTER REPORT
--RHP Mike Pelfrey (back strain) was placed on the 15-day disabled list June 23 after he was scratched from his scheduled start that day. Pelfrey suffered the injury running in the outfield June 22.
--CF Wilkin Ramirez (concussion) went on the seven-day disabled list May 26. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Fort Myers on June 20.
--RHP Ryan Pressly (sore right triceps) left the June 10 game, and he didn't pitch June 11-13. He returned June 14 and pitched one inning.
--CF Aaron Hicks (left hamstring strain) went on the 15-day disabled list June 10. He will likely go on a rehab assignment before he returns to the team. "He is doing well. He is doing his sprints and his other work," assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "We're playing it a little conservative. We're going to have him stay here and do this over the weekend, and we fully expect by the end of the weekend that barring any setbacks, hopefully he'll be able to go out on a rehab."
--OF Darin Mastroianni (stress reaction in left ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 16. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 22 after having surgery on a bone chip in his left ankle. His ankle was moved to a walking boot from a cast May 29.
--RHP Tim Wood (right rotator cuff strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 24, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 24. He began a rehab assignment in mid-April, but he was shut down May 9.