CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Rene Tosoni #23 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run against the Cleveland Indians during the tenth inning of their game on September 25, 2011 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. The Twins defeated the Indians 6-4. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

Twins At Indians: Minnesota Gets 6-4 Win In Final Road Game Of 2011

As the Twins' season winds down, be sure to keep Twinkie Town a part of your regular internet adventures.

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Twins Win Final Road Game Of 2011 In Extra Innings

The Minnesota Twins lost 51 games away from Target Field this season. The last year a Twins team lost 50 games or more on the road? Ironically, it was 1987. . .the year the Twins won their first World Series.

The Twins certainly don't have to burden themselves by worrying about October baseball this season. However, they did manage to win their final road game of the 2011 season by defeating the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Sunday afternoon by a score of 6-4 in ten innings.

Both teams put up two runs in the first inning of play, and the Indians took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the third on Shelly Duncan's two-run home run off of Liam Hendriks. The Twins got a run in the top of the fifth on Ben Revere's RBI groundout to make the score 4-3, and Trevor Plouffe launched a solo home run in the top of the sixth off of Fausto Carmona to tie the game again at four.

In a nice gesture, former Twin Jim Thome played one pitch in the top of the ninth inning at third base for the Indians in what might be his final appearance at Progressive Field. He then went to the dugout to a standing ovation, and was replaced at third by Lonnie Chisenhall. However, later on in the ninth, what appeared to be a bad thing actually wound up working out for the Twins later on.

With two outs in the top of the ninth, Joe Benson singled to right field, and Ron Gardenhire sent Rene Tosoni to the plate to pinch-hit for Drew Butera. Third base coach Steve Liddle thought that Gardenhire had given him the signal to tell Benson to steal second, and that's what Benson did. . .unfortunately, he got thrown out at second for the third out of the inning. Tosoni then went to right field for Benson, with Rene Rivera coming in to catch. After the Indians were retired in the bottom of the ninth, Tosoni stepped to the plate again to lead off the top of the tenth.

Tosoni took a 1-1 offering from Cleveland reliever Tony Sipp and blasted it into the right field stands, giving the Twins a 5-4 lead and making Ron Gardenhire look pretty good. The Twins added an insurance run later in the inning on Chris Parmelee's RBI single, making it a 6-4 game, and Joe Nathan set the Indians down in the bottom of the tenth to give the Twins the victory.

The Twins will start the final series of the 2011 season on Monday night, as they return to Target Field to begin a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals. First pitch from Target Field is scheduled for 7:10 PM Central time, and the Twins will send right-hander Kevin Slowey (0-7, 6.54 ERA) to the mound to try to snap his seven-game losing streak. He will be opposed by Royals' right-hander Felipe Paulino (3-10, 4.46 ERA).


Twins' Bullpen Falls Apart Again In Nightcap Against Indians

In 1965, Herman's Hermits did a version of the old British pub song, "I'm Henery The Eighth, I Am." In between verses, lead singer Peter Noone would shout out the phrase "second verse, same as the first."

There were probably a lot of Twins fans saying that same thing this afternoon, although I'm sure many of them were saying it in a much more colorful manner.

The Twins' pitching staff completely fell apart in the later innings again in the second game of Saturday's twin bill, making a 6-0 lead evaporate and, eventually, turn into a 7-6 Minnesota loss. This follows up a performance in the early game that saw the Twins' bullpen cough up six late runs to lose 8-2.

The Twins actually built up an early lead in this one, with Danny Valencia's sacrifice fly in the top of the first scoring Trevor Plouffe and giving the Twins' a 1-0 lead. They added to the lead in the top of the second, as Drew Butera brought home Brian Dinkelman with an RBI triple to make it 2-0, and Ben Revere followed with a single to score Butera and extend the lead to 3-0.

In the top of the sixth, the Twins tacked on even more runs. Butera ripped another single to center field to bring home Dinkelman and Matt Tolbert to make it 5-0, and Plouffe added a sacrifice fly to make the score 6-0. It looked like the Twins would escape Progressive Field on Saturday with a victory.

However, these are the 2011 Minnesota Twins.

Starter Scott Diamond got the first out in the bottom of the sixth, and then allowed a double to Carlos Santana before walking Jim Thome. Shelly Duncan then singled to bring home Santana and get the Indians on the board at 6-1, and Lonnie Chisenhall doubled to right to score Thome and make it 6-2. That ended Diamond's day, as he was lifted in favor of Alex Burnett. Lou Marson greeted Burnett with an RBI single to make it 6-3, and Cord Phelps' RBI groundout made it 6-4. Ezequiel Cabrera then singled to bring home another run, and what had been a 6-0 Minnesota lead had been cut to 6-5. Burnett was yanked for Jose Mijares, who retired Kosuke Fukudome to end the inning.

The Indians got the rest of what they needed in the bottom of the seventh, however. Jason Donald and Carlos Santana started the inning with consecutive singles off of Mijares. After Thome struck out, Mijares was lifted for Matt Capps. Capps continued to show a magic touch, as he gave up a double to Duncan to score both Donald and Santana and put the Indians ahead, 7-6.

That was all for the Twins, as they managed just one hit in the final two innings of play to allow the Indians to complete the doubleheader sweep. The Twins played four different doubleheaders this season, and were 0-8 in those games. Mijares was credited with the loss for Minnesota, giving him a record on the season of 0-2. Nick Hagadone got the victory for Cleveland, his first decision of any sort on the season.

With this loss, the Twins have not only clinched last place in the American League Central, but the worst record in the American League, and the second-worst record in Major League Baseball.

Minnesota will attempt to avoid getting swept by the Indians on Sunday afternoon, with first pitch from Progressive Field scheduled for 12:05 PM Central time. The starting pitchers will be Liam Hendriks (0-2, 6.23 ERA) for the Twins and Fausto Carmona (7-15, 5.23 ERA).


Twins Fall To Indians, 8-2, In First Half Of Doubleheader

The Minnesota Twins' bullpen, as has been their propensity for much of the 2011 season, completely fell apart in the opener of their doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians. The Tribe scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning after Twins' starter Brian Duensing was pulled to pace them to an 8-2 victory on Saturday afternoon.

Cleveland got on the board first, thanks to Shelly Duncan's two-run double in the bottom of the first to give the Indians an early 2-0 lead, but the Twins fought back. They got a run in the top of the fourth when Danny Valencia scored on a wild pitch by Indians' starter David Huff, and a single run in the top of the sixth when Valencia scored again on a double by Trevor Plouffe, tying the game at two going into the bottom of the sixth.

Then, the Twins pulled Duensing and brought Francisco Liriano in to relieve him. Here is how Liriano's afternoon went.

-Walk to Jason Kipnis
-Walk to Carlos Santana, Kipnis to second
-Hit Travis Hafner with a pitch, loading the bases
-Sacrifice fly by Duncan (Kipnis scores, 3-2 Cleveland)
-Double by Matt LaPorta (Santana scores, 4-2 Cleveland)
-Single by Jack Hannahan (Hafner scores, 5-2 Cleveland)

Liriano was then pulled for Jim Hoey, who was greeted by a single by Kosuke Fukudome, scoring LaPorta and making the score 6-2. Duncan eventually concluded the scoring with a two-run single off of Hoey to make the score 8-2.

Liriano took the loss for the Twins, getting charged with five runs (all earned) on just two hits in one-third of an inning. Reliever Zach Putnam picked up the win for Cleveland, his first of the season.

The second half of the double-header is scheduled to get underway at 6:05 PM Central time at Progressive Field in Cleveland.


Santana's Walk-Off Homer Gives Indians 6-5 Win Over Twins

The Minnesota Twins were in search of a second consecutive victory on Friday night after losing 11 straight games, but couldn't quite make it happen against the Cleveland Indians, as Minnesota fell by a final score of 6-5 at Progressive Field.

The Twins actually struck first in this one, getting on the board in the top of the first inning as Chris Parmelee continued his hot hitting with a two-run single, giving Minnesota an early 2-0 lead. Cleveland struck back in the bottom of the first, when former Twin Jim Thome laced an RBI double to left to cut Minnesota's lead to 2-1. The Tribe tied the game in the bottom of the second, when Matt LaPorta's RBI double scored Lonnie Chisenhall to tie the game at two.

Minnesota took the lead back in the top of the third when Parmelee blasted a solo home run to right field off of Justin Masterson to put the Twins back ahead 3-2. Later on in the inning, with runners on first and second, Joe Benson grounded a ball to Chisenhall at third. Chisenhall fired to second baseman Jason Kipnis for a force out, but Kipnis threw wildly on the relay to first, allowing Brian Dinkelman to score, making the score 4-2.

However, Cleveland would tie the score in the bottom of the third as Thome struck again. With one out and Kipnis on first, Thome lifted a home run to center field off of Carl Pavano to tie the score at four. The score would stay that way until the bottom of the sixth, as LaPorta drove Chisenhall home again, this time with a single to give Cleveland their first lead of the game at 5-4. The Twins came back in the top of the seventh when Rene Tosoni's double scored Luke Hughes and tied things one more time.

Ron Gardenhire lifted Pavano after seven innings of work, and Phil Dumatrait pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Matt Capps came in for the top of the ninth inning, and the Indians sent Carlos Santana to the plate to pinch-hit for Lou Marson. Capps got to throw exactly one pitch, as Santana deposited his first offering over the wall in right-center field, allowing the Indians to walk off with a 6-5 victory.

Chris Perez, who threw a perfect top of the ninth for Cleveland, was credited with the victory, while Capps took the loss for Minnesota.

The Twins and Indians will play a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, making up for a game that was rained out on August 14. The first game of the doubleheader is scheduled for 12:05 PM Central time, and the pitching match-up will feature left-hander David Huff (2-6, 4.20 ERA) for the Indians going against left-hander Brian Duensing (9-14, 5.29 ERA). The second game is scheduled for 6:05 PM, and will see Minnesota lefty Scott Diamond (1-5, 4.81 ERA) going against Cleveland right-hander Mitch Talbot (2-6, 6.33 ERA).


Twins Travel To Cleveland For 2011's Last Road Trip

As the Twins' season winds down, be sure to keep Twinkie Town a part of your regular internet adventures.

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