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Anibal Sanchez's bid for his second career no-hitter fell just two outs short on Friday night. After retiring Jamey Carroll on a somewhat questionable strike three call to begin the ninth inning, Minnesota Twins star Joe Mauer laced a 1-1 pitch right back up the middle for a clean single, which keeps Sanchez from joining Justin Verlander, Mark Buehrle and Roy Halladay as the only active pitchers with multiple no-hitters. At least temporarily. The way he's throwing this season, another bid is probably around the corner.
''It's not that I go to the mound and want to do something special, it's just that I want to go nine innings, go deeper, get a good command, get a good game,'' Sanchez said. ''When I come to the eighth inning, I think about it. But when I come to the ninth inning, it's really tough with those guys.''
Much like his Friday night start back on April 26 when he struck out 17 Atlanta Braves, Sanchez had everything working against Minnesota. That was especially true during a stretch from the second inning to the seventh inning where he retired 18 straight batters. He ended up going the distance for his fourth career one-hitter, striking out 12. The outing required 130 pitches, which is sure to make a few fans uneasy, but he's been no worse for the wear after throwing 122 in the April start.
As for how Mauer felt about his latest history-breaking hit, which by the way is his third career ninth inning knock to break up a no-no attempt.
''He's nasty, and he had everything working tonight,'' Mauer said. ''Obviously, you know exactly what is happening, and you don't want to get no-hit. I'm just up there trying to put the bat on the ball. He threw me a really good cutter and I was just able to square it up.''
Rockies exorcise AT&T Park demons: Last weekend the Colorado Rockies snapped a ten-game overall losing streak to the San Francisco Giants by taking three out of four in a series at Coors Field. On Friday, they ended a nine-game skid at AT&T Park with an impressive 5-0 victory. Right-hander Tyler Chatwood did most of the work on the hill, tossing six scoreless. In a big return from the DL, Michael Cuddyer provided the offensive punch with a two-run first inning double and a solo homer in the sixth. Carlos Gonzalez also homered in the win as Colorado vaults to a first place tie in the NL West.
Houston Homecoming: What a night for Houston native Chris Young as he returned home with his Oakland A's. Young came into the game hitting a dismal .168 on the season through 101 at-bats, but broke out for three hits, including a game-winning, three-run homer off Jose Veras in the top of the ninth.
I believe there can only be one possible explanation for such an unexpectedly huge performance.
''Mom's cooking definitely has something to do with it for sure,'' said Young, who grew up in Houston and spent an off day Thursday with his family. ''Barbecue, just good old Texas southern barbeque. It always does the trick for me.''
I know that's right!
Orioles 10, Blue Jays 6: Baltimore's home barrage continues. They hit four more here, including Chris Davis' league-leading 16th.
Red Sox 8, Indians 1: John Lackey throws seven innings of two-hit ball.
Braves 5, Mets 5 (susp.): Game will be resumed on Saturday.
Reds 7, Cubs 4: Five-run fourth inning propels Cincinnati. Joey Votto and Ryan Hanigan each homered in the inning.
Brewers 2, Pirates 1: Doesn't matter which direction these teams are going, Milwaukee owns the series at Miller Park.
Angels 5, Royals 2: Mike Trout is hitting everything in sight and the other Angels are along for the ride.
White Sox 4, Marlins 3 (11 inn.): Chicago overcomes latest blown call by Angel Hernandez.
Diamondbacks 5, Padres 2: Brandon McCarthy's 18-inning scoreless streak was snapped in the second. He started another with five scoreless frames to end the quality outing.
Cardinals 7, Dodgers 0: When you're Don Mattingly and you need a good weekend to help out the old job security, a series with St. Louis and their pitching staff is the last thing you want to see on the schedule.
''My wife, she probably wants me to take it off, I'm sure she does,'' Johnson said. ''But I might leave it on, see if this is not something strange happening here.''
— Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson on the facial hair he's vowed to continued growing until his offense starts clicking. Despite their 5-2 win over the Phillies on Friday night, Johnson intends to keep it a little longer.
Tyler Moore of the Nationals collides with Phillies catcher Erik Kratz. Amazingly, Kratz held on to the ball for the out. Thankfully, neither man was injured.
• Anibal Sanchez's one-hitter was the fifth in baseball this season. Jordan Zimmermann, Chris Sale, Shelby Miller and Jon Lester have the others.
• Evan Gattis and Brandon Belt lead baseball with five go-ahead or game-tying hits in eighth inning or later this season.
• Chris Young now has 27 RBI in 19 games at Minute Maid Park.
Related coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
• Yankees' Curtis Granderson heading back to DL
• Dodgers need to back up tough Don Mattingly talk
• Royals K-Crew member resuscitates 14-year-old girl after collapse at Kauffman Stadium
How many "best parts" can a photo have? This picture of Minnesota Twins superstar Joe Mauer at (perhaps) 9 years old has too many to count.
• The Zubaz pants. They've been making a comeback, thank goodness, but for a while it appeared the striped wonders would remain a relic of the late 1980s and early '90s. Every kid in '92 (with any taste) wanted Zubaz, and obviously Mauer's parents came through for the lad.
• The reluctant smile for the camera. Mauer (from what I can tell) is genuinely friendly, and a nice guy as an adult, but there's some shyness there also. His emotions mostly stay under the surface, a lament of some Twins watchers. It makes sense that, while he's obviously happy about winning a basketball trophy and wearing those pants, something prevents him from showing a grin. As the inset photo of Mauer shows, it's obvious he's worked on that part of his personality.
• The bangs. Oh my gosh darn it, the bangs. That's the price you pay for Zubaz pants; subjecting yourself to bangs because that's what mom wants. It's "kid pro quo" at its most elemental. Note, again in the inset photo, how Mauer's catcher's helmet simulates the bangs today. Mauer is in charge of his own haircut now — he's an adult — but he's still got mom on his mind. That's for you, Mrs. Mauer.
• The basketball trophy. We don't know precisely what he got it for, but it's likely that Mauer's team won a tournament. He was, after all, a 12-sport star by the time high school came.
• The house. As Twitter follower Bob Bohland said:
— Bob Bohland (@dropshotbob) May 23, 2013
— Bob Bohland (@dropshotbob) May 23, 2013
Can you imagine? The original Mauer Compound in the Twin Cities! It's like seeing where George Washington, or Jay-Z, or the Corleones from "The Godfather" grew up! Love the brick. Indifferent about the awning.
• The shoes. Untied high-tops. Who can't relate to that? My grandfather was a photographer, and one of the best tips he ever gave anyone taking a picture was, "Everybody's got feet." In other words, don't worry about capturing every inch of the person. Waist-and-up is fine. Thank goodness his sage advice was ignored here. Not only do we see all of the Zubaz, but we get to see Joe Mauer's untied shoes. Crucial to the adorableness quotient of the photo.
This photo has been kind of an internet legend for a few years, having been discussed at places like Randball. It showed up on the Facebook site for Zubaz on Wednesday, and Danny Ferris, one of the MLB Fan Cave dwellers, tweeted about it. And now it's part of The Stew's permanent record. I'm going to celebrate by buying some Zubaz pants.
Joe Mauer helped the Twins get an early lead and P.J. Walters kept the Tigers bats quiet as the Twins won their first game in a week and a half.
The Twins hit rock bottom after losing their 10th straight and being one-hit in the same game. Can they piece together a win today?
I take a look at the starting pitchers in Saturday's Twins-Tigers game.
Today's Saturday Notebook has a special theme as we look at things that the Twins are doing better than others right now. How is this possible? Read along to find out!
Needing a roster spot for Saturday's starting pitcher, the Twins oddly chose to demote one of their better hitters back to the minor leagues.
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