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Updated: September 25th, 2011 3:15pm
Twins Daily: Rene Tosoni's 10th-inning blast keeps Twins at 98 losses

Twins Daily: Rene Tosoni's 10th-inning blast keeps Twins at 98 losses

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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Rene Tosoni's 10th-inning homer helped the Minnesota Twins avoid a four-game sweep with a 6-4 win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

The skinny

Facing left-hander Tony Sipp, Tosoni led off the top of the 10th inning with a blast into the right-field seats -- his fourth of the season -- to give the Twins a 5-4 lead. For good measure, Chris Parmelee added an RBI single shortly after to provide a two-run cushion.

Joe Nathan came in for his 14th save, keeping the Twins (61-98) two losses away from 100.

The Twins will now need to win two out of three against the Royals at home this week to avoid 100 losses.

After opening up a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Ben Revere and a sac fly by Danny Valencia, the Twins quickly gave it back when starter Liam Hendriks loaded the bases and allowed a two-run single to Lonnie Chisenhall in the bottom of the first.

Cleveland jumped in front in the bottom of the third on a two-run blast by Shelley Duncan, but the Twins pulled within one in the fifth when Denard Span tripled and scored on Revere's groundout. Trevor Plouffed tied the game 4-4 with a solo home run in the sixth.

Hendriks allowed four earned runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings, striking out five and throwing 101 pitches.

Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona allowed four earned runs on seven hits and a walk in 6 1/3.

Turning point

Tosoni's blast.

Until then, it was hard to imagine the Twins -- losers of 19 of their last 21 games, and donators of a 6-0 lead Saturday -- pulling out a win.

Numbers game

1996: The last time Jim Thome played third base in a game -- until the ninth inning on Sunday, when Thome played third base for one pitch as a symbolic move. Sunday marked his last home game in an Indians uniform.

4-19: The Twins' record in September.

30-51: The Twins' road record this season.

2: Extra-base hits for Span, who led off the game with a double that glanced off the glove of left fielder Duncan. Span later roped his first triple since June 3.

8: Home runs for Plouffe.

Health report

• C Joe Mauer (pneumonia), 1B Justin Morneau (concussion, knee surgery) and Tsuyoshi Nishioka (oblique) have all been placed on the disabled list -- simply a procedural move, as all three players had already been ruled out for the rest of the season.

On deck

The Twins close out a dismal season with a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals, beginning Monday (7:10 p.m., 1500 ESPN) when right-hander Kevin Slowey (0-7, 6.23) takes on right-hander Felipe Paulino (3-10, 4.46).

Slowey took a no-hitter into the sixth in his last outing against the Mariners, but he eventually blew up and allowed five earned runs on six hits before getting yanked in the seventh. Slowey has allowed at least five earned runs in five of his seven starts since being reinserted into the starting rotation on Aug. 19, and this will be his last start before heading into an offseason filled with question marks.

Coming up

• Tuesday: vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m. RHP Anthony Swarzak (3-7, 4.42) vs. TBD
• Wednesday: vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m. RHP Carl Pavano (8-13, 4.48) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (12-8, 3.98)

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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