The uniform isn’t the only thing new about Kurt Suzuki this season. The veteran catcher has also assumed a new role: Run producer. Suzuki moved into the top 10 RBI men in the American League on Sunday, driving in three runs to help Phil Hughes collect his third consecutive victory, 5-2 over the Orioles at Target Field. First baseman Joe Mauer left Sunday's game because of muscle spasms in his lower back. The team said Mauer is considered day to day. Mauer played the first two innings in the field and hit a fly ball to center field in his only at-bat. In the top of the third, the Twins moved Chris Colabello from right field to first base and put Chris Herrmann into the lineup in right field. The Twins’ catcher doubled twice, singled once and walked once, improving his batting average to .325 on the season. Even better, his fifth-inning walk forced in a run, and his seventh-inning double scored Colabello and Jason Kubel, giving him 22 RBIs on the season -- twice as many as Suzuki has ever had on May 4 during his eight-year major-league career. Trevor Plouffe also drive in two runs with a double, and the Twins rode Hughes’ strong start and the relief efforts of four pitchers to win the series from Baltimore, two games to one. Hughes allowed a leadoff single in the first inning, then retired 14 straight hitters in quieting Baltimore’s lineup. His lone mistake was centering a cut fastball for Nelson Cruz, who crushed it into the second deck in left field, a two-run shot.
Kurt Suzuki's big day gives Twins 5-2 win over Baltimore
Minneapolis Star Tribune | May 5