In what turned out to be a pretty good pitcher's duel at AT&T Park, the Minnesota Twins dropped their second straight game to the San Francisco Giants by a final score of 2-1 on Thursday afternoon. The loss marks the first time since May 31 and June 1 that the Twins have lost consecutive games following an eight-game winning streak.
The Giants got out to an early lead in the bottom of the second inning, thanks to an RBI groundout by Giants' shortstop Miguel Tejada scored Pablo Sandoval to give San Francisco the early lead. The teams then traded zeroes until the bottom of the eighth inning, when the Giants got an insurance run on a Cody Ross single to score Aubrey Huff, making the score 2-0.
Things got interesting in the top of the ninth when Brian Wilson and his beard came in to try to pick up the save for the Giants. Wilson started the inning by walking Alexi Casilla, and Michael Cuddyer followed that up with a double that brought Casilla around to score, making the score 2-1 and giving the Twins a runner in scoring position with nobody out. Delmon Young then struck out swinging, and Danny Valencia lined out to left field for two quick outs. Luke Hughes then grounded one to Sandoval at third. Cuddyer was running on contact, and when he saw Sandoval going for the ball, he attempted to prolong things by turning around and heading back to second. Sandoval. . .sadly. . .was able to run Cuddyer down for the third out, and the game came to an end.
Cuddyer had three of Minnesota's four hits on the afternoon. Ben Revere had the other.
Tim Lincecum (6-6, 3.16 ERA) was dominant for the Giants, as he held the Twins scoreless on just three hits in seven innings of work. He also struck out a dozen Minnesota hitters, including striking out the side in the seventh inning before being lifted for Javier Lopez. Lopez pitched a perfect eighth before turning things over to Wilson, who got his twenty-first save of the year.
Brian Duensing (4-7, 4.54 ERA) took the loss in this one, allowing one run on six his in 6.2 innings of work while striking out five and walking two. Alex Burnett got one out to complete the seventh inning for the Twins, and Glen Perkins pitched the eighth, allowing a run on two hits.
The Twins fly back east to start a three-game interleague series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night at Miller Park. First pitch for that one is scheduled for 7:10 PM Central time. The pitching match-up for that one will see Twins' right-hander Scott Baker (5-4, 3.24 ERA) going up against Milwaukee's Randy Wolf (5-4, 3.15 ERA).