If only, right? But nope, baseball rules dictate that all innings factor into the final score, and so the Twins used a seven-run second and a 10-run fifth to turn a meaningful September game into a spring training snoozer. It's kinda like returning to the womb. For all I know, Philip Humber might still be curled in a fetal position in the clubhouse, along with Jose Quintana.
They took the brunt of the damage on a weird, weird night of baseball that, among other things, featured the White Sox setting a franchise record with 10 doubles, and using their first position player to pitch since Aug. 4, 1995.
Unfortunately, most of those two-baggers came with the White Sox down 18-4. There's not much to say about how the Twins scored, except as an overview.
The Sox gave Quintana three runs as quickly as they could, with some fine two-out hitting, too. Paul Konerko grounded into an RBI fielder's choice for the second out, but the rally continued with an Alex Rios RBI single, and a Dayan Viciedo RBI double.
Then the game ceased being fun. Quintana only retired one more batter, as he gave up five hits and two walks -- although two of those hits should have been errors, with Kevin Youkilis and Alexei Ramirez unable to handle strange spinners, but whatever. All of those baserunners came around to score in a seven-run inning in which the Twins couldn't even muster one extra-base hit.
The fifth inning was even worse. Dylan Axelrod immediately ran into trouble in his third inning of work, and the game somewhat in reach, Robin Ventura went strategic. Leyson Septimo retired the only batter he faced. Then came Phil Humber, who also retired one batter. Problem is, Humber faced 10. He threw batting practice, giving up seven hits (five singles, a triple and a homer) and two walks before Ventura ended his misery. He finished the night with eight runs charged to his name, and his ERA ballooning to 6.51. The Twins scored 10 runs overall.
After that, the scorecard got silly (only Alejandro De Aza and Tyler Flowers played the whole game) with Brian Omogrosso and Dewayne Wise shouldering the load on the pitching side. And somehow, the Sox earned some dignity back with a four-run eighth inning that featured four consecutive doubles, and De Aza adding a fifth for good measure.
That set a record. And after Wise pitched out of trouble for a scoreless ninth -- he allowed a single in a walk, but got a double play and a flyout to kill the threat -- he drilled his second double of the game to at least cut the lead to single digits.
That's what passed for a positive tonight. Even Hawk Harrelson, celebrating his 71st birthday, left the game early for undisclosed reasons.
OK, here's another one: The Tigers lost, too. Only by a margin of 3-2, but baseball rules dictate that all losses count the same, too.