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Updated: May 23rd, 2010 4:07pm
Twins' ninth-inning rally comes up just shy

Twins' ninth-inning rally comes up just shy

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins' ninth-inning rally came up just short, as rookie SS Trevor Plouffe struck out with the bases loaded, allowing the Brewers to sneak out of Minneapolis with a 4-3 victory on Sunday.

RHP Marco Estrada was the emergency starter for Milwaukee, because scheduled starter RHP Manny Parra pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief, taking the loss in extra innings on Saturday. Ironically, it was Parra who picked up the victory in relief on Sunday. He pitched two scoreless innings, scattering five baserunners. Estrada pitched three innings and allowed two earned runs.

Home runs by RF Corey Hart and 1B Prince Fielder lifted the Brewers early against RHP Carl Pavano (4-5, 4.17), who went eight innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits. He also struck out six while walking only one.

The Twins scored two runs in the third inning, courtesy of an RBI single by 2B Orlando Hudson, and an RBI double by 1B Justin Morneau. DH Jason Kubel plated another in the ninth to cut the deficit to 4-3, but Brewers RHP John Axford would eventually close out the game for his first save of the season.

For the Twins, Morneau reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with two walks, a double, and an RBI. Hudson went 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored.

In the fifth inning, while trailing 3-2, the Twins had runners on second and third with nobody out, but failed to plate a run. Jason Kubel struck out swinging, Delmon Young was intentionally walked, Brendan Harris struck out looking, and Trevor Plouffe grounded into a fielders choice to end the inning.

Denard Span left the game in the sixth inning with a right shoulder contusion. He is considered day-to-day.

Trevor Hoffman made his 1,000th career appearance, pitching a clean eighth inning to become the 14h pitcher in baseball history to reach the 1,000-appearance plateau.

The Twins have an off day Monday before opening a three-game series with the Yankees at Target Field on Tuesday.

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