Crede delivers as Twins top Blue Jays in 11
Joe Crede spent a rough first two weeks of the season trying to prove his back was fully healed and show his new teammates that he was ready to contribute.
A game-winning double in extra innings should speed up that process.
Crede's second double of the game caromed off the center-field fence in the 11th inning to score Justin Morneau from first base, giving the Minnesota Twins a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
"It's definitely a great feeling when you can come through," said Crede, who bounced into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the sixth. "Especially after the sixth inning, to be able to come through in the 11th and help your team win is definitely a great feeling."
Glen Perkins held the highest-scoring team in the majors to two runs in eight innings for the Twins, who snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Blue Jays. That was the second-longest skid of its kind in the majors - Milwaukee has beaten Pittsburgh 12 straight times.
Jesse Carlson (0-1) took the loss for Toronto, spoiling the second consecutive impressive outing from rookie Ricky Romero. He gave up two runs and eight hits with no walks in eight innings.
Morneau singled with one out in the 11th for his third hit of the game. Crede, signed as a free agent in spring training after two major back operations the previous two seasons, drove a two-out double to the gap in right-center and Morneau raced around the bases to beat the relay throw.
"That was big for Joe to come through," Morneau said. "Hopefully, that will take some pressure off him and he'll settle in and play how he can play."
Jesse Crain (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Perkins, who gave up seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
After falling behind 1-0 in the second inning on a single by Rod Barajas, Perkins retired 18 of the next 21 batters as the Twins jumped in front 2-1.
But Alex Rios doubled with two outs in the eighth and Vernon Wells singled him home to tie it, costing Perkins what would have been a well-deserved victory. He gave up five hits and one run in a 2-0 loss to Seattle last week.
"I'm comfortable and I know I have a spot and I can do my thing," Perkins said. "It's a lot of weight off my shoulders just to be able to go out there and pitch every fifth day."
Romero matched him nearly pitch for pitch in his second straight duel with another young gun. He outpitched Tigers youngster Rick Procello in his major league debut, a 6-2 win over Detroit, and was just as good this time around.
The Twins had plenty of difficulty figuring out the 24-year-old rookie, who was the sixth overall pick in the 2005 draft. The lefty from Cal State-Fullerton was effectively wild, changing the hitters' eye levels while moving the ball in and out of the zone.
"I take the mentality of a bulldog when I am out there, not letting anything bother me," Romero said. "I'm keeping it as simple as I can right now. I feel like when I do that, it dictates my whole game."
The Twins tied it in a mistake-prone fourth inning. Denard Span led off with Minnesota's first hit off Romero and Alexi Casilla rolled over on one to second base. But Aaron Hill bobbled the ball, preventing him from getting a double play, and had to settle for the out at first.
Morneau followed with a ground-rule double to score Span. Redmond's single scored Crede for a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
Toronto entered leading the majors in batting, runs, hits, doubles and total bases, but could barely get to Perkins. Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston decided to sit Travis Snider, who hit two home runs on Monday night, and Lyle Overbay, who went deep himself, against the lefty.
"You never like to lose a game when you go that long and pitch that well," Gaston said. "Ricky did a great job again tonight. We battled. We'll just put this one behind us."
Hill went hitless for the first time this season. ... The Twins activated RHP Scott Baker after the game. He will start Wednesday against Scott Richmond. LHP Brian Duensing was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to create room. ... The Blue Jays placed RHP Jesse Litsch on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm. LHP Bill Murphy was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to fill the roster spot.