Padres At Twins: Minnesota Gets Sweep Thanks To Butera's Walk-Off Single

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Twins Complete Sweep Of Padres With Walk-Off Win

The Twins made it a little more interesting than it needed to be, but they completed a three-game interleague sweep of the San Diego Padres on Sunday afternoon at Target Field with a 5-4 victory. The win was the seventh in a row for the Twins and allowed Minnesota to climb out of the AL Central cellar for the first time this year.

The Twins jumped out to an early lead, thanks to Alexi Casilla unloading on an offering from Padres' starter Dustin Moseley in the bottom of the first, taking it into the right-field stands for a solo home run and giving the Twins a quick 1-0 advantage.

Twins' starter Francisco Liriano was, as the kids might say, "dealing" early on, as he retired six of the first nine Padres he faced on strikes. In the top of the fourth, however, the Padres broke through with three consecutive singles. Jason Bartlett got things started with a base hit, and Chase Headley moved him to second with a single of his own. Ryan Ludwick then singled to score Bartlett and tie the game at one.

The Padres threatened again in the top of the fifth, as three consecutive singles loaded the bases for San Diego with one out. Chris Denorfia lifted a sacrifice fly to score Orlando Hudson and give the Padres their first lead of the series, 2-1. After a walk to Bartlett loaded the bases again, Headley reached on an infield single that allowed Will Venable to score and extend the San Diego lead to 3-1.

The Twins struck back in the bottom of the seventh, as Michael Cuddyer led off the inning with a double. After a fly out by Delmon Young, Luke Hughes grounded one to Headley at third, who threw wildly to first, allowing Hughes to reach second and letting Cuddyer move up to third. Mike Adams then came on in relief of Moseley, and a groundout to third allowed Cuddyer to score and cut the deficit to 3-2. Rene Tosoni, pinch hitting for Rene Rivera, then doubled to right to score Hughes and tie the game at three, and Matt Tolbert followed that up with another double to score Tosoni and give the Twins a 4-3 lead.

Glen Perkins came in to relieve Liriano in the top of the eighth, and after getting the first out allowed singles to Ryan Ludwick and Jesus Guzman to put runners on the corners with one out. After Cameron Maybin flew out, the Twins intentionally walked Orlando Hudson to load the bases, Venable smashed a ground ball to first that Hughes made a great diving stop on. However, Perkins was late getting over to first base to cover, and Venable wound up with an infield hit that scored Ludwick and tied the game at four.

Things stayed that way until the bottom of the ninth, when Chad Qualls came into the game for San Diego to relieve Adams. Delmon Young led off the inning with a single, and Luke Hughes sacrificed him over to second. After an intentional pass to Nishioka, Drew Butera (who came in to catch after Tosoni pinch-hit for Rivera earlier on) ripped one to the left side of the infield that went off of Headley's glove and ricocheted into left-center field. Young came around to score, and the Twins left the field with a 5-4 victory.

Alex Burnett, who pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the Twins, got credited with the victory, raising his record on the season to 2-4. Qualls took the loss for the Padres, giving him a record of 3-3 on the year. Both starters performed well, even though neither of them figured in the decision. Dustin Moseley pitched 6.1 innings, allowing just three hits and one run. Liriano gave up eight hits and three runs over seven innings of work, striking out eight. Both Mike Adams and Glen Perkins were each credited with a blown save for their teams.

The Twins will take the day off on Monday, and then head back out onto the road, starting with a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night at AT&T Park. The pitching match-up as it stands right now is Carl Pavano (4-5, 4.20 ERA) squaring off against Madison Bumgarner (3-8, 3.21 ERA).


Baker Dominant In Twins' 1-0 Victory Over Padres

Minnesota Twins fans have become accustomed to their team not scoring very many runs at times this season. What they're not used to is a small number being good enough to get the victory. But, when you get a pitching performance like the one Scott Baker put on at Target Field on Saturday night against the San Diego Padres, you don't need a lot of scoring.

Baker (5-4, 3.24 ERA) threw eight shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out ten Padres as the Twins defeated San Diego by a score of 1-0. The victory was the sixth in a row for the Twins, and their thirteenth in their last fifteen ball games.

Things got off to a bit of a rocky start for Baker, as Padres' right fielder Chris Denorfia led off the game with a triple. However, Baker responded by striking out Jason Bartlett and Chase Headley before getting Ryan Ludwick to fly out to end the inning. Baker proceeded to strike out the side in the top of the second, and it became clear that he was on his game.

All of the scoring in this one occurred in the bottom of the second, when Danny Valencia launched his second home run in as many nights to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. The home run came off of Padres' starter Tim Stauffer (2-5, 3.13 ERA), who entered the game having pitched 16.2 consecutive scoreless innings for San Diego.

Matt Capps came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth for the Twins, and he retired the Padres in order to get his eleventh save of the season.

The Twins will go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon at Target Field, with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 PM Central time. The Padres will send right-hander Dustin Moseley (2-6, 3.16 ERA) to the hill, while the Twins will hand the ball to left-hander Francisco Liriano (4-6, 4.67 ERA).


Twins Jump Out Early, Hold On Late To Defeat Padres, 6-5

The Minnesota Twins jumped out to an early lead on Friday night against the San Diego Padres, and had to hold the Padres off late in order to get the victory. The Twins won the game 6-5, giving them their twelfth victory in the last fourteen games and cut their deficit in the American League Central to just eight games.

In the bottom of the first, Ben Revere reached on an error by Padres' second baseman Alberto Gonzalez, and Alexi Casilla kept up his hot hitting by following that up with a single. Revere was thrown out attempting to steal third, and Casilla advanced to second on a wild pitch by Padres starter Clayton Richard (2-9, 4.35). Then, the returning Joe Mauer slapped a single into center field for a base hit that brought in Casilla and gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead. Mauer also moved up to second on an error by Padres' center fielder Cameron Maybin on the throw back into the infield.

Mauer then came in to score on Michael Cuddyer's ground-rule double to left field, making the score 2-0 in favor of the Twins. After a walk to Delmon Young, Danny Valencia blasted a three-run homer to the second deck in left field to open the Minnesota lead up to 5-0.

San Diego got one back in the top of the third on an RBI double by Chase Headley, but the Twins responded in the bottom of the fourth when Ben Revere's single brought Jason Repko home to give Minnesota a 6-1 lead. Another RBI double by Headley in the top of the fifth made the score 6-2, and that's how things stayed until the top of the seventh.

To start the seventh, Alex Burnett came in to relieve Twins' starter Brian Duensing (4-6, 4.82 ERA). Burnett quickly got the first two outs to start the inning, and then allowed consecutive singles to Jason Bartlett and Chase Headley. Ryan Ludwick then unloaded on a Burnett offering and put it into the left field stands for a three-run home run, and suddenly a game that it looked like the Twins might run away with was a one-run affair at 6-5.

That's all the closer the Padres would get, however. Glen Perkins, who was also making his return this evening, worked a scoreless eighth inning, and Matt Capps pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to pick up the save for Minnesota. It was the tenth save of the season for Capps.

Mauer got a hit in his first at-bat in his return, going 1-for-4 on the night, including grounding into a double play.

The same two teams will get together at Target Field on Saturday, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:10 PM Central time. The starter for the Padres will be right-hander Tim Stauffer (2-4, 3.28 ERA), while the Twins will counter with right-hander Scott Baker (4-4, 3.55 ERA).

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