Twins beat Brewers 8-7 in a wild one
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MINNEAPOLIS -- What a game.
It's probably fitting that the Twins, who have struggled all season in bases loaded situations, left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth and 10th innings with chances to beat the Brewers.
Finally, in the bottom of the 12th, LF Jason Kubel came through with a game-winning, bases-loaded sacrifice fly to score Joe Mauer, giving the Twins a 8-7 victory in one of the wildest games of the season so far.
The Brewers appeared to be destined for a 6-2 loss, but a five-run surge in the top of the ninth inning gave them new life.
After LHP Ron Mahay loaded the bases with nobody out, Twins closer Jon Rauch came in and allowed a double to the gap to Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks that cut the lead to 6-4. That allowed CF Carlos Gomez, who feared retaliation after showing up Nick Blackburn on Friday night, to line a two-run, game-tying single to left field.
LF Ryan Braun then lined into a double play to 2B Alexi Casilla, but 1B Prince Fielder drew a walk, and 3B Casey McGehee ripped a double to the wall in left field. Fielder scored from first base, putting the Brewers up 7-6.
Then, in the bottom of the ninth inning, 1B Justin Morneau led off with a double down the left field line against Brewers closer Carlos Villanueva. RF Michael Cuddyer singled to right, moving Morneau to third base. After DH Jason Kubel struck out swinging, LF Delmon Young ripped a double to the wall in left, tying the game at 7-7.
After Villanueva intentionally walked pinch hitter Jim Thome to load the bases with one out, 3B Nick Punto struck out swinging, and LF Denard Span flew out to the deepest part of right-center field to end the inning.
The Twins loaded the bases again in the bottom of the tenth, but RF Cory Hart made a spectacular leaping catch while crashing into the right field wall to end the inning on a fly ball hit by Young.
RHP Kevin Slowey's mysterious mid-inning struggles continued on Saturday as well, but he bobbed and weaved his way through 5 2/3 innings, allowing only two runs on six hits. He also struck out five and walked one.
The two runs came on an RBI single in the fifth by C George Kottaras, and a solo home run by Hart. In nine starts this season, Slowey (6-3, 4.53) has pitched into the seventh inning only once.
For the Twins, the middle of the lineup did the majority of the damage. Second baseman Orlando Hudson, C Joe Mauer, 1B Justin Morneau, and RF Michael Cuddyer combined to go 12-for-22 with five walks, three runs driven in, and eight runs scored.
After scoring seven runs in the first inning of Friday night's 15-3 bludgeoning, the Twins tallied four more runs in the first inning on Saturday.
Hudson left the game in the seventh inning with a bruised elbow. He's considered day-to-day.
RHP Carl Pavano (4-4, 4.11) was scheduled to face LHP Manny Parra (0-3, 3.81) tomorrow, but Parra was the pitcher who served up the game-winning sac fly to Kubel.
The Twins set a Target Field attendance record Saturday as well, with a paid attendance of 39,152.