Twins fend off Indians in extra innings
Manager Ron Gardenhire had just begun dissecting Minnesota’s latest win, when his cell phone rang and interrupted him.
”That’s the President,” Gardenhire cracked.
At least the Twins are finally having some fun.
Ben Revere’s two-out RBI single in the 10th inning off closer Chris Perez gave the coming-to-life Twins their sixth win in seven games, 3-2 Wednesday over the slumping Cleveland Indians, who can’t seem to shake free of their June swoon.
After Drew Butera doubled with two outs off Perez (2-2), Revere flared his base hit into shallow left. Butera scored sliding ahead of outfielder Michael Brantley’s one-hop throw to the plate, helping the last-place Twins take the series and improve to 6-2 this month.
”It means a lot, the way we’ve been struggling,” said Revere, who had three hits and two RBI. ”To do it against a team like that and do it like this, it’s phenomenal. It puts so much momentum with us. We’ve got the Rangers coming in, so this win is huge.”
Closer Matt Capps (2-3) got the win after giving up Jack Hannahan’s tying, two-out homer in the ninth. Phil Dumatrait gave up a two-out double in the 10th to Carlos Santana before retiring Shin-Soo Choo on a comebacker for his first career save.
Justin Morneau added an RBI single for the Twins, who started the month 20 games under .500 and have been ravaged by injuries.
The numerous medical issues have forced Ron Gardenhire to juggle things on a nearly day-to-day basis. He used his 57th different lineup in 61 games as the Twins have had to use 39 players and have eight on the disabled list, including superstar Joe Mauer and designated hitter Jim Thome.
They’re so far back, the Twins can’t think about winning a third straight AL Central title.
”We’re just trying to win a ballgame each day,” Gardenhire said. ”That’s all we’re doing. We’re taking the game in hand, try to win it and see where you end up at the All-Star break. That’s our best route. You can’t start looking at numbers because it’s ridiculous how far we’ve put ourselves in a hole.”
Grady Sizemore homered for Cleveland, which has lost six of seven and is just 2-6 this month. The Indians are 1 for 40 since June 2 with runners in scoring position.
”What comes around goes around,” Indians manager Manny Acta said.
Two strikes away from another tough loss, Cleveland found some of the late-inning magic that carried the Indians through the season’s first two months. Hannahan, who hadn’t homered since April 26, connected on a 2-1 pitch fro Capps, driving it just over the wall in right-center to tie it 2-2.
Over in Minnesota’s dugout, Gardenhire feared the worst. However, Revere came through in the clutch.
”It’s deflating on the bench,” Gardenhire said. ”You need a pick-me-up. The kid comes up and flips one in the outfield. It’s very exciting. It was a good win.”
And a great moment for Dumatrait, who kept the ball from the final out.
The 29-year-old has kicked around in pro ball since 2000. The Twins are his fifth organization, but he’s been in the majors for just two seasons.
”It’s awesome,” Dumatrait said. ”I never envisioned it would ever happen.”
Minnesota starter Carl Pavano wound up with a no-decision, and probably deserved better.
The right-hander allowed just one run in seven strong innings. Pavano gave up seven hits and never let an Indians lineup that has been struggling for several weeks get anything going.
Morneau hit an RBI double in the sixth off Cleveland starter Justin Masterson, who hasn’t won since April 26.
Pavano carried a four-hit shutout into the sixth inning, when Sizemore led off with his seventh homer, an opposite-field shot over the wall in left to make it 2-1 Twins.
They had Pavano in his only real jam with two outs in the seventh, when Lou Marson snapped an 0-for-23 slump with a single and Brantley singled him to third. But Pavano got Asdrubal Cabrera to hit a routine grounder to first for the final out.
Notes: The Twins have played just 21 home games, but will have 30 of their next 40 at home. They start a 10-game homestand Thursday against Texas. … Twins 1B Luke Hughes made a diving stab at first to rob Sizemore of a hit in the eighth. … Twins RHP Nick Blackburn, who left his last start against Kansas City on Saturday with a stiff back, will pitch Thursday against Texas. ”He says he’s fine but I’m a little worried about him,” Gardenhire said. … Twins OF Denard Span returned to Minnesota to have his sore neck examined. He played Monday after missing two games, but felt light-headed. … Revere has hit safely in 11 straight games.