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In Progress: Twins Make Interleague Road Trip To Philly

The Minnesota Twins could have gotten off to a worse start on their nine-game road trip. . .not much worse, but it could have been worse.

Starter Nick Blackburn failed to make it out of the second inning, and the Twins' offense was once again in hibernation for most of the evening as the Twins got clobbered by the Phillies 9-5 on Friday night in Philadelphia.

Things got rolling for the Phillies early in this one, as they put up three runs in the bottom of the first, and it looked like Blackburn might have been starting to right the ship in the second after getting two of the first three hitters.  However, the Phillies proceeded to score five runs with two outs in the innings, highlighted by back-to-back home runs.  Chase Utley launched a three run blast to right field to make the score 7-0, and Ryan Howard's solo follow-up chased Blackburn after 50 pitches and 1.2 innings pitched.

Howard would go on to add a second solo homer in the top of the fifth, this one off of Ron Mahay, to make the score 9-0 in favor of the defending National League champions.

Phillies' starter Joe Blanton, on the other hand, had no such problems with Minnesota's offense.  He held the Twins without a hit until Jason Kubel's triple in the top of the fifth. . .a triple that saw Kubel get thrown out at home attempting to stretch it into an inside-the-park home run.  The Twins dented the scoreboard on the 6th on Michael Cuddyer's RBI single, and then Nick Punto. . .yes, that Nick Punto. . .added a two-run homer in the seventh to make the score 9-3.  The Twins managed to put a few hits together in the top of the ninth off of Phillies' reliever Scott Mathieson, but it was too little, too late.

The Twins will look to get better results tomorrow in the second game of this weekend's three-game series.  They'll send Kevin Slowey (7-4, 3.84 ERA) to the mound, and the Phillies will counter with Cole Hamels (6-5, 3.74).  First pitch is scheduled for 3:10 PM Central time.

For the latest on the Twins, be sure to visit Twinkie Town.

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