Baker happy to win without best stuff

Baker happy to win without best stuff

CLEVELAND -- Yes, Twins pitcher Scott Baker saw the irony.

The right-hander had one of his best outings of the season last Sunday against Texas when he held the hard-hitting Rangers to one run in eight innings, but got hung with a 1-0 loss.

On Saturday night against the Indians, he bobbed and weaved through five innings, but picked up the win, raising his record to 7-3. Given a 9-0 lead in the third inning, Baker didn't retire a batter in the sixth, giving up hits to the first three hitters before being pulled.

Baker, who was charged with three runs, smiled when the paradox was brought up to him.

"They all even out," he said of run support. "You know that. It's just the way it is. You know guys are going to pick you up. You don't know if it will be in your next start, but it was nice to have nine runs in the first three innings."

Baker allowed five hits, walked three and struck out five. He retired the side in order in the second, but fought himself the other four innings. He threw a double-play ball to David Dellucci in the first, walked a batter in the third, worked around two walks in the fourth and gave up a home run to Andy Marte in the fifth.

The sixth started with a single by Dellucci and Shin-Soo Choo. Jhonny Peralta followed with a two-run single, ending Baker's night.

"It was one of those nights when you know what you're doing wrong, but you can't make the corrections," Baker said. "I was trying to guide the ball. It was a constant battle. It worked out, but I would have liked to do better."

"He was trying to be too fine," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That led to him having a high pitch count (97). When you get a lead like that, you need to attack."

Steve Herrick is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.