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Vogelsong Shuts Down Twins As Giants Win, 5-1

The Minnesota Twins' longest winning streak of 2011 came to an end on Wednesday night, as San Francisco Giants' right-hander Ryan Vogelsong shut down the Minnesota offense by allowing just one run on three hits in seven innings of work. The Giants got plenty of offense, and went on to win by a score of 5-1.

The bad luck for the Twins started with one out in the second inning. With Cody Ross on first base, Giants' shortstop Brandon Crawford grounded one to Tsuyoshi Nishioka at shortstop. Nishioka threw to second in an attempt to start the double play, but second baseman Alexi Casilla could not hold on to the ball, allowing Ross to slide safely into second and letting Crawford reach first. Eli Whiteside then made the Twins pay for not getting out of the inning by slicing a triple to center field that let both Ross and Crawford score, giving the Giants an early 2-0 advantage.

The Giants extended their lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth when Whiteside contributed another RBI single. The Twins' lone run came in the top of the seventh inning when Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young led off the inning with singles, putting runners on first and third. After Danny Valencia and Luke Hughes struck out, Tsuyoshi Nishioka beat out an infield single to score Cuddyer to temporarily cut the deficit to 3-1.

Aubrey Huff answered for the Giants in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI single to make the score 4-1 in favor of San Francisco, and the Giants capped the scoring in the bottom of the eighth when Emmanuel Burris reached on an error by Nishioka, allowing Andres Torres to come around and make the score 5-1.

Vogelsong (5-1, 1.86 ERA) didn't need much help, as he was perfect for the first four innings and allowed just the one run in his seven innings of work. Nick Blackburn (6-5, 3.15 ERA) lost for the first time since April 28, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits in six innings pitched.

The two teams will meet in the rubber game of the series on Thursday afternoon at AT&T Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 2:45 PM Central time. The Twins will give the ball to left-hander Brian Duensing (4-6, 4.82 ERA), while the Giants will counter with one of the game's best, two-time Cy Young Award-winning right-hander Tim Lincecum (5-6, 3.39 ERA).

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