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Twins Lose To Blue Jays, 9-3, After Another Pitching Collapse

The Minnesota Twins found another new, creative, and exciting way to lose on Saturday afternoon at Target Field, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays in an eleven-inning affair by a score of 9-3.

Yes, a six-run loss in extra innings. Your 2011 Minnesota Twins, ladies and gentlemen.

The two teams were tied at two after five and a half innings, and the Twins took a 3-2 lead on Michael Cuddyer's solo home run to lead off the sixth. Nick Blackburn cruised into the top of the eighth inning, and got the first two outs in short order, but then Yunel Escobar reached on an infield single, and scored on Corey Patterson's triple to tie the game at three. Matt Capps came in to relieve Blackburn, and retired Juan Rivera on strikes to end the inning.

After Capps retired the Blue Jays in order in the top of the ninth, the Twins gave themselves an opportunity in the bottom half against former teammate Jon Rauch, thanks to Justin Morneau's one-out double. Unfortunately, they failed to capitalize, as Delmon Young struck out swinging, and Michael Cuddyer popped out to second to end the threat.

Neither team threatened in the tenth, and Glen Perkins, who got through the tenth with no problem, gave up a lead-off single to Corey Patterson to start the eleventh. Jim Hoey came in to relieve Perkins, and promptly gave up a two-run homer to Jose Bautista to break the deadlock. Hoey then walked two consecutive hitters before being lifted for Jose Mijares, who gave up a two-run double to J.P. Arrencibia. Mijares gave up a hit to Edwin Encarnacion, and then walked two consecutive hitters to force in a run and was lifted without recording an out. By the time the smoke finally cleared, the Twins had given up six runs and trailed 9-3 going into the bottom of the eleventh.

Shawn Camp retired the Twins in order in the bottom of the eleventh, and the reeling Twins were sent to their seventh straight loss.

Rauch got the victory for the Blue Jays, lifting his record for the season to 2-2. Perkins took the loss for the Twins, which was his first decision of 2011.

The Twins will attempt to avoid their eighth straight loss and their third consecutive series sweep on Sunday at Target Field. Right-hander Brandon Morrow (1-2, 4.71 ERA) will take the ball for the Blue Jays, and the Twins will counter with lefty Brian Duensing (2-2, 3.32 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM Central time.

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