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Updated: May 18th, 2011 11:48pm
Twins Daily: Trevor Plouffe makes up for errant throw in win over A's

Twins Daily: Trevor Plouffe makes up for errant throw in win over A's

by Phil Mackey
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A throwing error by Trevor Plouffe cost the Minnesota Twins two runs in the early going, but the young shortstop made up for it with his bat by delivering three RBIs and the go-ahead sacrifice fly in a 4-3, 10-inning win over the Oakland A's on Wednesday night.

The skinny

Plouffe's fielding blunder cost the Twins early, but his bat later made up for the gaffe.

With a runner on first and two outs in the second inning, Plouffe fielded a routine groundball off the bat of Mark Ellis and sailed the throw over first baseman Justin Morneau's head. Ellis advanced to second base and lead runner Ryan Sweeney advanced to third, and Kevin Kouzmanoff then drove them both in with a base hit to put the A's (22-21) up 2-1.

Plouffe avenged the mistake in the top half of the third inning, delivering a two-RBI single up the middle to put the Twins (14-27) back in front 3-2.

Then, with the game tied 3-3 in the top of the 10th inning, Plouffe connected for a deep fly ball to right field off closer Brian Fuentes to score Delmon Young from third base.

Turning point

Pinch hitting for Drew Butera, Young came in and delivered a leadoff single in the 10th inning. Alexi Casilla followed by dropping down a sacrifice bunt, but first baseman Daric Barton's throw to second sailed into left field, allowing Young and Casilla to advance into scoring position.

Denard Span grounded out harmlessly to first base, but Plouffe followed with the go-ahead sac fly.

Numbers game

2: Strikeouts for starting pitcher Carl Pavano, which is one more punchout than he had in his previous three starts combined. Pavano pitched seven solid innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits and zero walks.

7: Saves for closer Matt Capps, who pitched a clean 10th to lock things down.

2: Games in a row Young has sat on the bench to start the game. In five games since returning from a rib injury, Young is now 2-for-17 with 10 strikeouts.

88: Plate appearances between extra-base hits for the Twins prior to Jason Kubel's first-inning double.

Health report

• Manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters that DH Jim Thome (strained oblique) and OF Jason Repko (strained right quad) are both expected to be activated in time for Monday's game at Target Field.

• C Joe Mauer (weakness/soreness) remains in Fort Myers where he will continue to rehab.

On deck

Right-hander Nick Blackburn (2-4, 3.70) enters Thursday's series finale against Oakland (2:35 p.m., 1500 ESPN) on a roll, posting a 1.74 ERA with 14 strikeouts and nine walks in his last three starts (20 2/3 innings). Perhaps most importantly, however, is Blackburn's 50% groundball rate, which is what he relies on most, with help from defenders.

With Dallas Braden shelved for the season following April shoulder surgery, right-hander Tyson Ross (3-2, 2.50) has done a solid job as the replacement, allowing three earned runs or fewer in each of his five starts so far. Ross has also given up just one home run over that span.

Coming up

• Friday: at Arizona, 8:40 p.m. LHP Brian Duensing (2-3, 4.61) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (4-1, 3.05).
• Saturday: at Arizona, 9:10 p.m. RHP Scott Baker (2-3, 3.99) vs. RHP Armando Galarraga (3-4, 5.91).
• Sunday: at Arizona, 3:10 p.m. LHP Francisco Liriano (3-5, 6.12) vs. RHP Daniel Hudson (4-5, 4.03).

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