CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 13: Justin Morneau #33 of the Minnesota Twins is safe at second base with a lead-off double ahead of the tag by Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the Cleveland Indians during the seventh inning of their game on August 13, 2011 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Twins 3-1. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

Twins-Tigers Series: Twins Top Tigers With Morneau Single In Ninth

Head on over to Twinkie Town for all your Twins coverage. You'll find it nestled in between Roseau and Albert Lea.

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Twins Top Tigers In Ninth

Tonight the Twins played as close to a complete baseball game as they have in a month, and as a result, they actually won a series. The 6-5 win gave the Twins their first series win since the end of July, and although Jim Thome hit home run 601, it was Justin Morneau that had the big hit.

Morneau hit a two run, go ahead single off of Detroit closer Jose Valverde in the top of the ninth, scoring Rene Tosoni and Tsuyoshi Nishioka to provide what proved to be the winning runs for the Twins.

Twins starter Carl Pavano pitched another good game, and although he didn’t get the win, he pitched 7 innings, giving up 9 hits, 3 earned runs, and struck out four while walking two.

Glen Perkins almost blew it, though, as he came in to relieve Pavano and couldn’t get anyone out, giving up 1 hit and walking two. Matt Capps, coming in with the bases loaded and nobody out, only allowed one run to score, and Joe Nathan pitched the ninth to pick up his 11th save.

The Twins return home tomorrow and start an 11 game home stand, starting out with four against the New York Yankees.


Twins Look For Game And Series Win Against Tigers

The Twins enter tonight’s game against the Detroit Tigers with an opportunity to win a series, something they haven’t done since July 28th, when they took two of three from the Texas Rangers. Granted, they lost the opener of that game 20-6, but the played good baseball the rest of that series, and looked like the better team the last two games.

That han’t happened in the month of August so far, as they lost two of three to the Angels, were swept by the White Sox at home, then lost two more to the Red Sox before slavaging one win on the home stand, then lost the first two of three in Cleveland before the final game was rained out on Sunday.

On the Twins injury front, it looks like Denard Span will play, and Michael Cuddyer is close. He’ll take batting practice and then the team will make a decision.

The Twins have a decent shot to take this series, as Carl Pavano takes on Brad Penny. Pavano has pitched very well in his last two outings, only giving up two unearned runs in over 15 innings pitched. His counterpart Penny has been going in the opposite direction, giving up 15 earned runs and 27 hits over his last 15 innings.

First pitch is 6:05.


Twins Baffled By Verlander And Tigers 7-1

Nick Blackburn and Justin Verlander, the two starters on Tuesday night, were a contrast in styles, and in each performance pretty much summed up the season thus far for each respective team.

Blackburn, the Twins starter, was pounded over 4.2 innings by the Tigers, giving up 11 hits, two walks, and five runs. It was the seventh…seventh time this season that Blackburn has given up 10 or more hits in a start.

At the other end of the spectrum was Justin Verlander, who went a strong 7.2 innings enroute to his major league leading 18th win, striking out 8 and generally having his way with the Twins line up.

The Twins had an opportunity in the first inning, as the Twins got two men on and forced Verlander to throw 29 pitches, but he settled down after that, retiring 8 in a row. That streak was sandwiched by Joe Mauer singles in the third and sixth inning.

It was quite the 600 HR hangover for Minnesota, and it showed. With the loss the Twins dropped 15 games under .500, but could still win the series with a win tomorrow. After the Tigers series, they come home to meet the Yankees.

That’ll be fun.


Lester Oliveros Is The 'Player To Be Named Later'

Yesterday, it was announced that the Twins had traded Delmon Young to the Tigers for Cole Nelson and the dreaded ‘player to be named later’, a phrase that generally connotates something along the lines of ‘look, we’ll send over a guy we really don’t think has much of a future and we’ll call it good’.

Lester Oliveros is the player to be named later.

Signed by the Tigers and assigned to their minior league system in 2006, Oliveros has steadily progressed from the Rookie League up through the Tigers farm system, making his major league debut this year.

In his minor league career he is 13-14 with 57 saves, and in his brief stint with the Tigers, he appeared in 3 games. He had a total of 8 innings pitched, and went 0-0 with no saves and a 5.63 ERA, giving up 8 hits, 4 walks, and he struck out 4.


Twins Knock Off Tigers, 9-6, On Thome's Big Night

The Minnesota Twins haven't given their fans a whole lot to cheer about as of late, but they did so on Monday night in the Motor City, as they knocked off the Detroit Tigers by a final score of 9-6 on the night that Jim Thome reached baseball immortality.

The Tigers actually got onto the board first in this one as Delmon Young. . .yes, the Delmon Young that the Twins had traded to Detroit earlier in the day. . .hit a solo home run in his first at-bat as a Tiger off of Francisco Liriano (8-9, 5.12 ERA) to give Detroit an early 1-0 lead. He became the first player in eleven years to hit a home run for his new team in his first at-bat against his former team.

Minnesota came back in the top of the third off of Tigers' starter Rick Porcello (11-8, 4.98 ERA). Matt Tolbert started off the inning with a bunt single, and advanced to second on a Wilson Betemit throwing error. A second straight error, this one by Ryan Raburn on a grounder by Tsuyoshi Nishioka, gave the Twins runners on the corners with nobody out. Ben Revere's fielder's choice forced Nishioka at second, but allowed Tolbert to tie the score at 1. Trevor Plouffe then doubled to score Revere and give the Twins a 2-1 lead, and after Joe Mauer was retired on a fly out, Justin Morneau doubled to left to score Plouffe and extend Minnesota's lead to 3-1. However, Detroit came right back in the bottom of the frame, however, as Victor Martinez touched up Liriano for a two-out, two-run homer to tie the score again at three.

The score remained that way until the top of the sixth, when Thome followed Jason Kubel's leadoff single with career home run number 599, a blast to left-center field, to make the score 5-3 in favor of the Twins. Minnesota added another one on an RBI triple by Revere to make the score 6-3. Revere was thrown out at the plate trying to stretch his hit into an inside-the-park home run, but the Twins still had a three run lead. The Tigers, however, would not stay down, as an Alex Avila RBI triple and a sacrifice fly by Betemit cut Minnesota's lead to 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth.

In the top of the seventh, the Tigers brought left-hander Daniel Schlereth out of the bullpen in relief of Porcello. Trevor Plouffe walked to start the inning and, after a Joe Mauer strike out, Plouffe would steal second and advance to third on a wild pitch by Schlereth. Justin Morneau then worked a walk as well, and Kubel followed that up with a strikeout for the second out. Thome then made his way to the plate, and made baseball history by launching his 600th career home run into the bullpen in left field, a three-run blast that extended Minnesota's lead to 9-5. The crowd at Comerica Park came to its feet in approval of Thome's accomplishment, and he was mobbed by the entire Minnesota roster at home plate. Thome became the first member of the 600 home run club to hit number 599 and number 600 in the same game.

Ryan Raburn hit a solo home run off of Alex Burnett in the bottom of the seventh to cut Minnesota's lead to 9-6, but that would be the last run Detroit would push across on the evening. Glen Perkins, Matt Capps, and Joe Nathan retired the final nine Tigers in order to preserve the win for Minnesota.

The same two teams will continue their series tomorrow night in Detroit, with first pitch at Comerica Park scheduled for 6:05 PM Central time. Minnesota will have a tough task ahead of them, as the Tigers will send Justin Verlander (17-5, 2.35 ERA) to the hill. The Twins will counter with Nick Blackburn (7-9, 4.36 ERA).


Twins-Tigers Series: Delmon Young Traded To Detroit

Head on over to Twinkie Twon, but detour around Cannon Falls. The President was there today and traffic is a mess. Unless, of course, you like traffic jams. Or, you know, the President.


Twins - Tigers: Delmon Young Traded To Detroit

Head on over to Twinkie Town to get all the lowdown on the Twins. But of you're driving, avoid Cannon Falls. The President was there today, and traffic is a mess.

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