PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 21: Garrett Jones #46 of the Pittsburgh Pirates trots around the bases after hitting a two run home run against the Minnesota Twins in the 7th inning during the game on June 21, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Twins Vs. Pirates: Minnesota Pounded In Pittsburgh, Lose Game And Series

The Minnesota Twins lost their second straight game to end their series with Pittsburgh.

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10 Total Updates since June 19, 2012
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Twins Vs. Pirates Final Score: Pittsburgh Powers Way Past Twins 9-1

The Pittsburgh Pirates won the rubber match of their three-game interleague series with the Minnesota Twins, with a 9-1 win at PNC Park on Thursday night.

The Pirates flexed their muscle at the plate while right-handed pitcher James McDonald pitched a complete game, scattering six hits with five strikeouts and no walks to earn the win.

On the other side, Minnesota starting pitcher Liam Hendriks remained winless on the season, losing his fourth game. The young right-hander was chased from the game in the sixth inning after giving up a two-run homer to Pirates catcher Rod Barajas. Center fielder Andrew McCutcheon had another big night for Pittsburgh with three hits, including a base-clearing double in the second inning to jump-start the Pirates big offensive night.

The loss dropped the Twins to 27-41 on the season as they continue their interleague tour of the NL Central on Friday when they begin a weekend series against the Cincinnati Reds.

For more on the Minnesota Twins, check out Twinkie Town. You can also head over to SB Nation's main MLB hub at Baseball Nation, or watch SB Nation's YouTube channel:

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Twins Vs. Pirates: Liam Hendriks Looks To Continue Rebound

The Minnesota Twins can take their fourth series of the month with a win Thursday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Twins drew even in the three-game set with Wednesday's 2-1 victory. In that one, Francisco Liriano -- who earlier this season was relegated to the bullpen with an 0-5 record and a 9.45 ERA -- proved that pitchers can indeed regain their stuff.

Which is good news for Thursday starter Liam Hendriks. On May 2, with a Liriano-esque ERA of 9.00, Hendriks was sent to Triple-A. He was lights-out in Rochester, going 5-0 in seven starts with a 1.94 ERA. He returned to the Twins on June 16, giving up just two earned runs in 5.0 innings. He took the loss, but it was nonetheless a step in the right direction. He'll try to build on that start with Thursday's game against the offensively-challenged Pirates, who are dead-last in the majors in runs scored.

James McDonald, 5-3 with a 2.32 ERA, will start for Pittsburgh.

The Twins are currently 8.5 games back of the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians and 4.0 games behind the fourth-place Kansas City Royals. First pitch Thursday is set for 6:05 Central.

For more on the Minnesota Twins, check out Twinkie Town. You can also head over to SB Nation's main MLB hub at Baseball Nation, or watch SB Nation's YouTube channel:

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Twins Vs. Pirates: Minnesota Beats Pirates With Strong Outing From Francisco Liriano

The Minnesota Twins beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 on Wednesday night in the second game of a three-game series.

Francisco Liriano worked into the seventh inning for the first time, pitching six and two-thirds innings and giving up only four hits and one earned run. He had six strikeouts.

Trevor Plouffe gave Minnesota an early 1-0 lead with an RBI-single in the first inning. It took until the seventh for the Pirates to tie it up on a sac fly from Rod Barajas.

The Twins retook the lead for good in the eighth on a solo home run from Josh Willingham, his 14th of the season.

Glen Perkins got his first save of the year and third of his career for Minnesota. Regular closer Matt Capps is out with shoulder inflammation.

The third game of the series is Thursday at 7:05 p.m. ET.

For more Twins coverage, head over to Twinkie Town. For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. And for the best MLB analysis on the web, be sure to visit Baseball Nation.

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Twins Vs. Pirates Score Update: Minnesota and Pittsburgh Tied After Seven

The Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates are tied 1-1 heading into the eighth inning at PNC Park. This is the second game of a three-game interleague set, with Minnesota looking to rebound from a 7-2 loss in the series opener.

The Twins grabbed an early lead off a Trevor Plouffe RBI-single in the first inning. After that, the game was scoreless until the seventh inning.

In the seventh, a Rod Barajas sacrifice fly scored Pedro Alvarez to tie the game.

Twins starter Francisco Liriano (1-7) pitched 6 2/3 innings. He gave up four hits, one run and struck out six. He was replaced by Jared Burton with the bases loaded and two outs after the Barajas sac fly. Jose Tabata grounded out to end the inning.

For more Twins coverage, head over to Twinkie Town. For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. And for the best MLB analysis on the web, be sure to visit Baseball Nation.

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Twins Vs. Pirates: Minnesota Looks To Bounce Back From Blowout Loss

Coming off a disappointing 7-2 loss on Tuesday night, the Minnesota Twins will look to bounce back when they play the second game of a three-game interleague set against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night. After looking like they were on the up-swing after winning seven of ten at the start of June, the Twins have regressed back to their early season form by losing five of their last six.

The Pirates will be entering Wednesday night on a three-game winning streak where the team has scored at least seven runs in each game.

Francisco Liriano is the Twins projected starter for Wednesday night and his opposition will be Erik Bedard. Liriano is 1-7 with 6.24 ERA over 57.2 innings pitched in 15 appearances this season, while Bedard is 4-7 with a 4.36 ERA in 13 starts.

For more Twins coverage, head over to Twinkie Town. For more on the Pirates, check outBucs Dugout. And for the best MLB analysis on the web, be sure to visit Baseball Nation.

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Matt Capps Injury: Twins Closer Could Miss Another Game Or Two With Sore Shoulder

The pitching injury problems aren't getting all that much better for the Minnesota Twins, but the latest one shouldn't be a problem for too long. Matt Capps was held out of the first game of the series against the Pittsburgh Pirates because of shoulder soreness.

He's likely to miss another game or two, possibly the rest of the series against the Pirates thanks to the shoulder inflammation. Fortunately, it shouldn't progress beyond that for Capps, and he has said he feels decent even through the hold out, throwing early in the bullpen on Tuesday but eventually being pulled:

"He feels good enough, but we're not going to use him," Gardenhire said. "We're going to back him up another day at least, maybe two. We want him to be healthy, and he's not totally there yet."

Without Capps, the Twins are going with 'closer by committee' again, with Jared Burton and Glen Perkins being the two most likely candidates on any given night to help the Twins in save situations.

For more Twins coverage, head over to Twinkie Town. For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. And for the best MLB analysis on the web, be sure to visit Baseball Nation.

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Twins Vs. Pirates Final Score: Minnesota Drops Series Opener In Pittsburgh, 7-2

The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the visiting Minnesota Twins 7-2 in the first of three interleague series games at PNC Park.

Pittsburgh right-hander Kevin Correia earned his third win of the season after pitching into the sixth inning without giving up a run. The win was Correia's first at home this season to move his record to 3-6.

Left-hander Scott Diamond took to loss on the mound for the Twins as Josh Harrison belted a first inning homer to get the Bucs going and then Clint Barnes helped chase Diamond in the sixth inning with a run-scoring double, one of three hits on the night for Barnes.

Center fielder Andrew McCutcheon had three hits of his own for the Pirates including a two-run home run in the seventh inning that answered a two-run rally by the Twins in the top half of the inning courtesy of a two-run homer Minnesota center fielder Denard Span.

The Twins have now lost five of their last six as they prepare for game two of their series with the Pirates on Wednesday.

For more Twins coverage, head over to Twinkie Town. For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. And for the best MLB analysis on the web, be sure to visit Baseball Nation.

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Twins Vs. Pirates: Starting Lineups For Tuesday's Game

The Minnesota Twins narrowly avoided dropping their 5th straight game on Sunday against Milwaukee, but now will hope to use their 15-inning marathon victory to their advantage as they open up a three-game series with Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

After playing nine consecutive interleague games at Target Field, Minnesota starter Scott Diamond will be forced to wield a bat to help out his own cause to kick off the series. Diamond will face a Pittsburgh lineup that has cooled as of late, but still presents many power/speed challenges from 1-to-8 in the order. Right-hander Kevin Correia, who is 2-6 with a 4.43 ERA this season, will get the ball for the Pirates.

With nine home runs already in the month of June alone, third baseman Trevor Plouffe will bat in the No. 5 spot against the Pirates in game one. Plouffe is still hitting a meager .243 for the season, but his 14 home runs and recent power surge have made him a popular name around baseball circles as of late.

Here are the starting lineups for Tuesday's opener:

Twins
1. Denard Span - CF
2. Ben Revere - RF
3. Josh Willingham - LF
4. Justin Morneau - 1B
5. Trevor Plouffe - 3B
6. Ryan Doumit - C
7. Brian Dozier - SS
8. Jamey Carroll - 2B
9. Scott Diamond - SP

Pirates
1. Jose Tabata - LF
2. Josh Harrison - RF
3. Andrew McCutchen - CF
4. Casey McGehee - 1B
5. Neil Walker - 2B
6. Pedro Alvarez - 3B
7. Rod Barajas - C
8. Clint Barmes - SS
9. Kevin Correia - SP

For more Twins coverage, head over to Twinkie Town. For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. And for the best MLB analysis on the web, be sure to visit Baseball Nation.

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Twins Joe Mauer, Matt Capps Expected To Return Soon

In a report filed on Tuesday afternoon by the Star Tribune, Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan updated the status of catcher Joe Mauer and closer Matt Capps. Mauer was kneed on Sunday in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers when Rickie Weeks slide into home. Despite the collision, Mauer remained in the game for five more innings and added three hits prior to leaving for a pinch runner. According to the report, Mauer is day-to-day with a bruised right quadriceps muscle.

Via the Star Tribune:

"It's not anything we need to worry about," Ryan said. "There's still some tightness, but I think he'll be OK in the near future."

Ryan also classified Capps in the same fashion, saying that the reliever is day-to-day with a sore shoulder.

"Capps is fine," Ryan said. "They're both day-to-day."

Ryan made it clear that he does not believe either player will need to be placed on the disabled list.

For more on the Minnesota Twins, check out Twinkie Town. More on the Pittsburgh Pirates can be found over at Bucs Dugout. More news and analysis on the baseball world can be found over at Baseball Nation.

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Twins Vs. Pirates: Minnesota Looks To Start A New Winning Streak

The Minnesota Twins are attempting to get out of the cellar as they start a new series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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