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Updated: August 3rd, 2013 12:01am
Dozier's walk-off hit lifts Twins past Astros in 13-inning marathon

Dozier's walk-off hit lifts Twins past Astros in 13-inning marathon

by The Associated Press
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Brian Dozier's third hit of the game scored Clete Thomas in the 13th inning to lift the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.

Right-handed pitcher Kevin Correia pinch-hit in the 13th to sacrifice Thomas to second base. Dozier followed by punching a single to right field for his second RBI of the game to snap Minnesota's four-game losing streak.

The Twins trailed 3-2 entering the ninth after All-Star closer Glen Perkins gave up an RBI double to Matt Dominguez. But Dozier's single off Chia-Jen Lo tied the game, and Dozier came through again off Dallas Kuechel (5-6) to win it with two outs in the 13th.

Dozier had two hits and Ryan Pressly (3-2) pitched two innings of relief for the win.

Jarred Cosart gave up one run on five hits and struck out four in seven innings, and Dominguez had two hits for the Astros (36-72), who have the worst record in the major leagues.

The Twins gave up their designated hitter in the ninth inning, so Twins manager Ron Gardenhire went to Correia, who spent 10 years hitting as a pitcher in the National League, to move Thomas into scoring position.

It was a much needed pick-me-up for the Twins, who were reeling from a sweep at the hands of the Royals that was capped by a lackluster performance on Thursday.

Gardenhire had a long talk with his position players before a strenuous pregame workout to refocus on the fundamentals and try and grab the attention of a team that has long since faded from contention in the AL Central.

Justin Morneau had two hits, including an RBI single in the eighth that tied the game at 2 for the Twins. Joe Mauer added a sacrifice fly, and Samuel Deduno gave up two runs on four hits with five strikeouts and five walks in six innings for the Twins, who were handcuffed by Cosart for seven innings.

The 23-year-old Cosart may be the crown jewel of a promising Astros farm system that gives the long-suffering fan base a little hope that the misery of this season will eventually be worth it. He came over from Philadelphia in 2011 in the trade that sent Hunter Pence to the Phillies and has been dominant in his first stint in the big leagues.

Cosart left with a 2-1 lead after seven innings, finally giving the Twins a chance.

The Astros are the youngest team by far in the majors, and they're the greenest in the bullpen.

They traded closer Jose Veras to Detroit earlier this week. With no proven closer, Astros manager Bo Porter had to go to Lo, who was making his second career appearance, with a runner on second and one out in the ninth. Lo's wild pitch allowed pinch-runner Doug Bernier to go to third, and Dozier's single landed in front of center fielder Brandon Barnes to tie it.

Porter turned to Kuechel, who was scheduled to start on Sunday, in the 12th.

Jason Castro had two RBIs for Houston.

Notes

Houston 2B Jose Altuve was held out of the starting lineup for a second straight game to rest his sore left quad. Porter said he was available to hit. ... Dozier extended his hitting streak to a career-high nine games with a double in the eighth. ... The Twins announced that they will select the contract of LHP Andrew Albers from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday. He is scheduled to make his first big league start on Tuesday at Kansas City. ... The Twins send RHP Kyle Gibson (2-3 6.21) to the mound on Saturday against Houston LHP Erik Bedard (3-8, 4.28).

© The Associated Press
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