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Updated: September 21st, 2010 10:18pm
Twins rally in 8th to beat Cleveland 6-4

Twins rally in 8th to beat Cleveland 6-4

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the eighth, the Minnesota Twins rallied for three runs to beat the Cleveland Indians 6-4 on Tuesday night.

The victory -- manager Ron Gardenhire's 800th as a manager -- cut the Twins' magic number to one, and a White Sox loss later on in Oakland clinched the division.

The Twins' half of the eighth inning started off with a single by Jim Thome, an RBI double by Delmon Young, and a single by Danny Valencia to put runners on first and third. After Nick Punto flied out to left, Jose Morales -- pinch hitting for Drew Butera -- drove a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Young from third and tying the game, 4-4.

Denard Span followed by dumping a single into left to score Valencia, and Orlando Hudson added a double to the gap in right center, giving the Twins a 6-4 lead.

Matt Capps pitched a scoreless ninth for his 41st save of the season.

Twins starting pitcher Scott Baker, sidelined since September 2 with elbow tendinitis, pitched five solid innings, allowing one earned run on four hits and a walk while striking out seven.

Indians starter Fausto Carmona -- who dominated the Twins two weeks ago -- was knocked out after just 5 2/3 innings. He allowed two earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three.

The Indians jumped out to an early lead in the first inning when catcher Drew Butera's pick-off throw to first baseman Michael Cuddyer skipped into right field, allowing Shin-Soo Choo to scamper to third base. Travis Hafner followed with an RBI double to put the Indians in front 1-0.

Jim Thome answered with a line drive home run into the right-field seats to tie the game -- the 589th home run of his career and 25th on the season.

The Indians regained the lead, 2-1 in the fifth inning off Baker on an RBI single by Drew Sutton.

Jose Mijares then came in to pitch the sixth inning, and he loaded the bases with nobody out. Trevor Crowe bounced into a run-scoring double play, and Luis Valbuena followed with an RBI double, giving the Indians a 4-1 lead.

Valencia's RBI single in the bottom of the sixth cut the lead to 4-2, then the Twins exploded for four runs in the eighth.

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