There isn’t much to get excited about as the Minnesota Twins visit the Chicago White Sox in a weekend series. Both teams are well off the pace in the AL Central and at this point, both clubs are simply playing out the schedule. Sure, they’d still like to win as many as possible and both clubs have plenty of pride, but there is no urgency to these games.
But no matter the situation and no matter how many games you’ve seen, Baseball has a way of presenting things you have probably never seen happen before.
Friday night at US Cellular Field, one of those scenarios took place.
The Twins took home the first game of the doubleheader by a 7-5 score. Kyle Gibson was the starter for the Twins and worked into the sixth before leaving the game trailing by a 3-1 score. Left hander Brian Duensing was summoned to get out of the sixth and did so effectively, striking out the only batter he would face. In the top of the seventh, Minnesota scored four runs to take the lead and would hold on to win, giving Duensing his fifth victory of the year.
In the nightcap, Minnesota and Chicago wound up going to extra innings after Duensing worked a scoreless ninth inning to preserve a 2-2 tie. In the Top of the 10th, Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia took White Sox hurler Dylan Axlerod deep for what proved to be the winning margin in a 3-2 Twins win.
Duensing was credited with his second win of the day.
The last pitcher to win two games in one day was Yankees reliever Luis Vizcaino, who pulled off the feat in 2007, but the only other time it happened in Twins franchise history came back in 1923, when the franchise was playing as the Washington Senators. You may recognize the name of the other guy who did it: Walter Johnson.
The Big Train earned two of his 412 career victories in a doubleheader versus the St. Louis Browns on September 17, 1923. Johnson earned a win in relief of an extra inning contest in game one, then started the nightcap and went the distance en route to his second win of the day.
It might be a disappointing season for the Minnesota Twins, but hopefully Brian Duensing can take some solace in his day on Friday. Anytime you can do something that was last accomplished by Walter Johnson, it’s pretty darn cool.