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Twins Defeat Mariners To Snap Eleven-Game Skid

The Minnesota Twins snapped their 11-game losing streak, the third-longest streak in team history, on Thursday afternoon at Target Field against the Seattle Mariners, as Rene Tosoni's double in the bottom of the ninth brought home Trevor Plouffe to give Minnesota a 3-2 victory. The win was only the third for Minnesota in the month of September.

Things got off to a rocky start for the Twins, as Justin Smoak blooped to center field between three Twins with two out in the top of the first to score Ichiro Suzuki and give the Mariners an early 1-0 lead. On the play, Plouffe slid in an attempt to catch the ball, and wound up taking an inadvertent knee to the head from teammate Ben Revere. Ichiro added a sacrifice fly for the Mariners in the top of the second to make the score 2-0, and it looked like the Twins were on their way to another loss.

Minnesota got one back in the bottom of the third, when Drew Butera grounded into a double play that allowed Tosoni to score and cut the Seattle lead to 2-1. Butera was also responsible for tying the game, as he laced a single to left field in the bottom of the fifth to again score Tosoni and tie the game at two. That's how things stayed until the bottom of the ninth, when Seattle reliever Steve Delbar came into the game.

It didn't look like the ninth inning would amount to much for Minnesota. Chris Parmelee led it off with a single, and Luke Hughes came in to pinch run. Danny Valencia then grounded into a fielder's choice that forced Hughes at second for the first out, and Valencia was then promptly caught trying to steal second for out number two. However, Plouffe was able to work a walk from Delbar, and Tosoni came to the plate. Tosoni then hit a line drive that made it to the fence in right-center field, allowing Plouffe to score from first and snapping one of the longest droughts in Minnesota Twins' history.

Joe Nathan, who pitched the ninth inning for the Twins and allowed one hit, picked up the victory for Minnesota to move his record on the season to 2-1 on the year. Delbar took the loss, evening his record for the year at 1-1.

The Twins will head to Cleveland for their final road series of 2011, a four-game set against the Indians at Progressive Field, including a day-night doubleheader on Saturday. The first game of the series will get underway at 6:05 PM on Friday night, and the pitching match-up will see right-hander Justin Masterson (12-10, 3.15 ERA) take the mound for Cleveland, while Minnesota will counter with righty Carl Pavano (8-13, 4.40 ERA).

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