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The Minnesota Twins just didn't get enough run production to counter the offensive fire power displayed by the Philadelphia Phillies in the the third and final game of their series on Thursday night. The Phillies took the win 6-1.
This is the first series loss the Twins have experienced in the month of June.
Both teams were able to get on the board in the second inning, but a three-run shot by Jim Thome in the third inning gave the Phillies all the separation they needed from the Twins.
The Milwaukee Brewers come to town Friday as Minnesota gets ready to rebound from the two consecutive loss this weekend's three-game series.
The Minnesota Twins trail the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 through the first three innings of their third game in as many days, due to a three-run homer by Jim Thome in the top of the third to break the 1-1 tie score.
Minnesota and Philly had managed to score runs in the first inning, to lock the game up at one run apiece.
So far, both teams have a victory in this series, with Twins coming out victorious in the first game on Tuesday night, 11-7 and the Phillies responding with a 9-8 victory on Wednesday.
If the Twins manage to come back against the Phillies, it would make them victorious in all of their series in the month of June. They started it out winning two of three on the road against the Cleveland Indians and the same thing against the Kansas City Royals, all on six straight nights.
Minnesota continued this by taking two of three from the Chicago Cubs over the weekend.
Despite weather conditions posing a threat to the 8:10 p.m. ET start time, the Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies are underway at Target Field in their series finale to determine which team breaks the split. Take a look at the lineups for both teams right here:
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Ben Revere (L) RF
3. Joe Mauer (L) C
4. Josh Willingham (R) LF
5. Justin Morneau (L) DH
6. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
7. Chris Parmelee (L) 1B
8. Alexi Casilla (S) 2B
9. Jamey Carroll (R) SS
1. Jimmy Rollins (S) SS
2. Placido Polanco (R) 3B
3. Hunter Pence (R) RF
4. Jim Thome (L) DH
5. Shane Victorino (S) CF
6. Carlos Ruiz (R) C
7. Ty Wigginton (R) 1B
8. John Mayberry (R) LF
9. Michael Martinez (S) 2B
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher P.J. Walters had to leave Wednesday night's 9-8 loss against the Philadelphia Phillies due to stiffness in his right shoulder. Walters only lasted through part of the first inning while throwing only 15 pitches, and during that brief time he was in the game he gave up four hits and four runs.
After Thursday's MRI, Walters had been placed on the 15-day disabled list for having inflammation in his right shoulder.
With Walters now on the disabled list, the Twins recalled right-handed pitcher Lester Oliveros who has been pitching in Class AAA Rochester. Oliveros has pitched 12 games at Triple-A this season and he has gone 1-1 with a 4.08 ERA, with four saves and 22 strikeouts in 17.2 innings.
The Minnesota Twins are looking to put behind them the 9-8 loss they suffered Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Twins are looking to avoid their first back-to-back loses since late May.
Taking the mound for the Twins is Scott Diamond who has been pitching extremely well this season, and he will attempt to slow down the Phillies offense. Diamond has won his past three starts and has not given up an earned run over his past two. For the season, Diamson has a minuscule ERA of 1.61 and a 5-1 record, and at home he is even better with 3-0 record with an ERA of 1.03.
The Phillies are starting Joe Blanton who has struggled this year with a 5-6 record and has an ERA of 5.40. For his career Blanton has struggled against the Twins with a career record of 4-4 and a 4.45 ERA.
Game time is at 8:10 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports North.
The Twins dug themselves a hole early, falling behind 6-0 in the first inning. Starting pitcher P.J. Walters (2-2) had to leave the game with shoulder stiffness. He took the loss and will have an MRI Thursday.
Jim Thome's 466 foot home run gave the Phillies a 9-3 lead after four innings.
Josh Willingham hit a solo shot in the sixth and the Twins put together a four run rally in the seventh with hits from Brian Dozier, Denard Span, Ben Revere and Joe Mauer. Minnesota was down 9-8 heading into the eighth. That's how the game would end, with Jonathan Papelbon picking up a four-out save for Philadelphia.
Cole Hamels (9-3) got the win for the Phillies after giving up eight hits and seven runs in six innings.
The Twins are 12-11 in games decided by one run, via Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.
Game 3 is Thursday at 7:10 p.m. CT.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher P.J. Walters had to leave Wednesday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning because of shoulder stiffness. He had difficulty getting loose and will have an MRI on Thursday, via the Star Tribune's La Velle E. Neal III.
Walters' injury is partially to blame for the Twins' dismal start to the game. He gave up four hits and four runs on just 15 pitches before leaving the field.
Minnesota trails Philadelphia 7-3 in the top of the fourth. Trevor Plouffe hit a one-run home run in the second inning.
The Minnesota Twins are on a roll, and would certainly like to keep that going. Sure, they're 25-35 on the season with a 12-18 mark at home, but that record was a whole lot worse back at the end of May, when they lost five-straight games, including a sweep against the Detroit Tigers. Now, they've won four-straight series, including a sweep of the Oakland Athletics to wrap up May, and they've taken game one against the Philadelphia Phillies in their three-game set.
They'll try to make it two games to build a winning streak, as they lost game three of a three-game set against the Chicago Cubs 8-2 after winning games one and two with 19 runs combined. Game one against the Phillies saw the Twins go up 5-0 by the start of the third inning with two homeruns. Inning four saw the Phillies just about catch up by making it 5-4, but Minnesota put it further out of reach by the sixth, making it 8-4.
Philadelphia wouldn't quit though, and they came within one again in the sixth with a score of 8-7, but Minnesota put it away with runs in the sixth and seventh innings, winning that one 11-7. Now, the Phillies will send the very solid Cole Hamels to try and right the ship. He's 8-3 on the season with a stellar 2.94 earned-run average, but was handed a loss in his last outing.
He did pitch well in that outing though, giving up three runs over six innings against the Dodgers on June 7. His counter will be P.J. Walters, who is 2-1 on the season with a 4.42 ERA. He's coming off a worse outing, giving up five runs over five innings against the Cubs on June 8, but was given a no decision as the Twins played well around him.
Game two is set for 8:10 p.m. Wednesday.
Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick was run out of the park by a strong start from the Twins, who had put up eight hits and six runs on him by the fourth inning. Nick Blackburn wasn't particularly special for the Twins but he was good enough to get the win, holding Philly to four runs.
He was the beneficiary of a Twins offense that found their stride, even as the Phillies managed to come back in the sixth inning and make it close, the Twins pulled away with the help of two home runs. In the end, the Twins put up 17 hits on the evening with Trevor Plouffe's three hit, three RBI evening standing out.
They'll see if they can keep that success going in game two against the struggling Phillies.
Looking to take their fifth consecutive series, Minnesota Twins will play host to a skidding Philadelphia team on Tuesday in yet another three-game Interleague set at Target Field.
The Phillies enter with losses in eight of their past nine games, and have dropped all the way to fifth place in the NL East and 29-33 on the year due to the cold streak. After a pair of extra-inning losses to Baltimore over the weekend with Cliff Lee and Vance Worley on the mound, Philadelphia will be forced to send 2-5 starter Kyle Kendrick to the hill to take on a Minnesota lineup that has racked up a bevy of runs as of late.
Sporting an extremely high 7.75 ERA for the year, 6-foot-4 right-hander Nick Blackburn will get the ball for the Twins. Blackburn will face a Philadelphia lineup predicated on speed with Jimmy Rollins and Juan Pierre in the 1-2 spots, as 41-year-old future Hall of Famer Jim Thome will bat cleanup for the third consecutive game.
Here are the starting lineups for Tuesday's vital series opener:
They're still in last place, sure, but the Minnesota Twins are playing their best baseball of the season. They're 9-3 over their last four series and could build on that with this week's visit from a fellow last-place team, the Philadelphia Phillies.