Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/13/13
After pitching into the ninth inning in his major league debut last Tuesday lefthander Andrew Albers set quite a standard for himself as he approached his second start. “If he goes out and tries to duplicate what he did before” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said before the game “he’ll get in trouble.” Albers didn’t duplicate. He added on. The lefthander shut down Cleveland in leading the Twins to a 3-0 victory at Target Field on Mondaty night. And three words that seemed to have dropped out of the Twins lexicon — complete-game shutout — have returned. Albers’ 102-pitch masterpiece was the first shutout by a Twins pitcher since July 27 2012 when another Scott Diamond another lefthanded Canadian also stymied the Indians. Albers was pulled with one out in the ninth inning last week at Kansas City because Gardenhire thought he was wiped out. That wasn’t the case Monday when Albers had the announced crowd of 30922 on their feet for the final out. “We saw how pitching is supposed to be” Gardenhire said. “Pitching you like to see.” “He just fills the zone up in and out in and out” second baseman Brian Dozier added. “He gets them to chase gets them to pop out.” Albers walked none and struck out two while throwing 102 pitches 76 for strikes. He began the ninth with 92 pitches and got Drew Stubbs to fly out Michael Bourn to ground to second and Nick Swisher to ground to short to finish his gem. Albers’ 17⅓ scoreless innings to start a career is a record for a Twins starter. Earlier this year reliever Caleb Thielbar didn’t give up a run in his first 17 games spanning 19⅔ innings. His family present for his debut at Kansas City weren’t at Monday’s game. But for his second start in a row the crowd included an cheering section that waved a banner that read “Albers for Prime Minister.” “Interesting that’s it’s different guys than the guys in Kansas City” Albers said. “For people to make that trip and come down is special to me. It means a lot to drive 15 hours to watch me pitch a baseball game. I thank them a lot.” The native of North Battleford Saskatchewan didn’t disappoint. Albers opened up with an 85 miles-per-hour fastball to Bourn for a strike — and plenty more were coming. First-pitch strikes? Albers got ahead 0-2 on 12 batters. From there he could get them out with a sinker cut fastball or even a curveball that floated in as slow as 67 mph.
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