Twins beat Indians 1-0 in extras behind Blackburn's gem and Thome's bomb
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It took the Minnesota Twins 21 innings to score a run in Cleveland this weekend, but the payoff was well worth the wait. Jim Thome's 12th inning blast off Justin Germano gave the Twins a 1-0 victory over the Indians.
The home run was the 23rd of Thome's season and 587th of his career, moving him ahead of Frank Robinson for sole possession of eighth place on the all-time list.
Thome, who has now homered in four straight games, has a base salary of $1.5 million this season. Fangraphs.com values Thome at $12.8 million. That number is certainly somewhat subjective, but not many would argue that Thome has been worth much more than $1.5 million.
Coupled with a White Sox loss in Kansas City, the Twins have a six-game lead in the American League Central.
As for starter Nick Blackburn -- who threw eight scoreless innings, allowing just five hits and two walks while striking out three -- the label of "Jekyll and Hyde" doesn't even do justice to the streakiness of the right-hander's season.
April: 4 GS, 23 2/3 IP, 6.85 ERA, 7 K, 8 BB, 6 HR
May: 5 GS, 37 1/3 IP, 2.65 ERA, 10 K, 5 BB, 2 HR
June/July: 9 GS, 41 IP, 9.88 ERA, 18 K, 14 BB, 11 HR
Aug/Sept: 4 GS, 30 2/3 IP, 1.47 ERA, 18 K, 7 BB, 0 HR
Since being recalled from Class-AAA on August 23, Blackburn has essentially gone from exile island to potentially pitching himself into consideration for a spot in the Twins' playoff rotation (knock on wood).