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Twins Look to Continue Momentum Against Rockies

The pitching matchup that everyone's been talking about was supposed to happen today at Target Field, but Scott Baker and Jhoulys Chacin apparently didn't want to be overshadowed.

Scott Baker allowed only two hits over seven innings while striking out 12, and the Twins managed to generate just enough offense against Chacin to scratch out a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Target Field on Wednesday night.

All of the Twins' scoring came in the second inning, as they loaded the bases with nobody out.  The Twins then got back-to-back singles from the number eight and nine hitters in their lineup, Danny Valencia and Nick PuntoDelmon Young attempted to make Punto's hit a two-run single, but was cut down at the plate by Colorado center fielder Carlos Gonzalez.  Chacin then struck out Denard Span, and got Matt Tolbert to ground out to end the threat.

The Rockies got on the board in the eighth, after Baker had been lifted for Matt Guerrier.  Guerrier gave up a double to Seth Smith, and hit Chris Ianetta with a pitch.  Clint Barmes sacrificed to give the Rockies runners on second and third with one out.  In came Jose Mijares, and he was the victim of a rare passed ball by Joe Mauer to make the score 2-1.  Mijares then got Gonzalez to foul out, and struck out Todd Helton to limit the damage to one run.  Jon Rauch then came in and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 17th save of the year.

The victory was the second in a row for the Twins, and gives them some momentum going into the series finale.  They're going to need all the help they can get, as there's not expected to be a lot of offense taking place on Thursday afternoon.  Minnesota will send Francisco Liriano (6-3, 2.90 ERA) to the hill, and the Rockies will counter with the man that's currently the best pitcher in baseball in Ubaldo Jimenez (12-1, 1.16).  First pitch is slated for 12:10 PM Central time.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.