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The Juice: Anemic Twins offense breaks out at Fenway; Jordan Zimmermann holds down Tigers

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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(USA Today)

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Before fans could settle into their seats at Fenway Park, the Minnesota Twins third worst offense in the American League in terms of runs scored had already put a four spot on the board against Allen Webster.

A stunning development to be sure, and a nearly perfect start for Ron Gardenhire's squad, but the question then became: Would a game's worth of offense in one inning hold up for all nine? The answer was a resounding "no" as Boston quickly countered with five runs in their half thanks largely to Jonny Gomes' grand slam off Pedro Hernandez.

To the Twins' credit, they didn't allow Boston's response to rattle them. In fact, they came back with an even better inning, scoring seven more times in the second with Pedro Florimon's home run starting the rally and his two-run double capping it off.

The three RBIs were enough to set a new career-high for the 26-year-old shortstop. When all was said and done, the Twins also set seasons highs in runs, winning it 15-8, and hits (20).

''We'll be asking for a little BP rain tomorrow,'' joked Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. ''It was a crazy night. The ball was flying early. Both pitchers, their young guy, we didn't let him breathe, and they did that to our pitcher, too.''

As for Boston, despite 12 hits of their own, David Ortiz went 0 for 5, snapping his 27-game hitting streak dating back to last season.

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Jordan Zimmermann (USA Today)

Zimmermann tames Tigers: Though his scoreless streak ended at 20 innings, Jordan Zimmermann remains the hottest pitcher in the National League after holding the Detroit Tigers offense to one run over seven strong innings in Washington's 3-1 victory. The Nationals touched up Anibal Sanchez for single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to help Zimmermann nail down his sixth victory. Bryce Harper knocked in two, including his 10th home run.

A pitcher’s best friend: Just like dog is loyal friend to man, the double play ball is friend to pitcher. The St. Louis Cardinals used four of them in their 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. In fact, they came in consecutive innings from the fifth through the eighth, which kept Chicago off the scoreboard and allowed the Redbirds offense to rally with single runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth. Jon Jay had the winning RBI on a one-out single. Good timing, because was that immediately followed by one of the Cardinals three double plays.

MORE SCORES

Mariners 2, Pirates 1: Jesus Montero’s seventh inning home run was the only thing separating brilliant performances from Felix Hernandez and A.J. Burnett. Hernandez moves to 4-0 in his last five starts.

Braves 7, Reds 2: Big bounce back for Atlanta thanks to Juan Francisco’s first career grand slam.

Padres 1, Marlins 0: It's no longer "Trevor Time" in San Diego's ninth innings, but Huston Street is an impressive 8 for 8 in save chances so far. He helped Jason Marquis wrap up victory No. 4.

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That's no way to treat Andres Torres! (USA Today)

Giants 4, Phillies 3 (10 inn.): Just another Walkoff Wednesday for the defending champs.

Orioles 5, Royals 3: Three errors and a wild pitch helps the O's pull away in the fifth.

Indians 4, A's 3: Oakland was torched by an Angel (Hernandez).

White Sox 6, Mets 3: Jake Peavy's back held up just fine over his six and two-third innings. Home runs by Alejandro De Aza and Alex Rios helped the cause.

Rays 10, Blue Jays 4: Ricky Romero failed to escape the first inning, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks. Matt Moore wins his sixth for Tampa.

Yankees 3, Rockies 2: A strange night for New York, but a memorable one for Vernon Wells.

Rangers 4, Brewers 1: Texas still hasn't lost three in a row all season.

Astros 3, Angels 1: What's up, Bud? Norris goes eight innings as Houston wins series from the Halos.

Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 2: That's a seven-game losing streak for Los Angeles.

''I was OK. I didn't have my very best stuff but I battled hard ... Luckily, I kept us in the game and we were able to win.''

— Felix Hernandez reminds us that his not-so-good days are still better than our best days.

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(USA Today)

Two fans look on during the first inning of the Angels-Astros game at Minute Maid Park

• Before Wednesday, the Twins had scored 24 first and second inning runs all season.

• The last Yankees starting pitcher to bat eighth before David Phelps was Don Larsen on Aug. 28, 1957.

• Despite being ejected in the sixth inning, Joe Maddon earned his 600th win as Rays manager.

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