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Updated: July 7th, 2010 9:42pm
Twins lose 6-5; Offer up Kevin Slowey to Mariners?

Twins lose 6-5; Offer up Kevin Slowey to Mariners?

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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After winning a late-inning nail-biter against the Blue Jays on Tuesday night, the Twins dropped a late-inning nail-biter on Wednesday night, 6-5.

A two-run homer by Orlando Hudson gave the Twins a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth, but they would go onto blow that lead, as well as leads of 3-2 and 5-4.

Kevin Slowey was anything but spectacular, allowing five earned runs and 10 baserunners in 6 1/3 innings, but he certainly didn't receive much help from his defense. Delmon Young and Denard Span collided on a fly ball off the bat of Jose Bautista in the fifth inning that should have been caught, but wound up falling in for a two-run inside-the-park home run.

The loss puts the Twins 1 1/2 games behind Detroit for the first time all season.

Twins offer Slowey and Ramos for Lee?

ESPN's Buster Olney appeared on Baseball Tonight Wednesday and said the Twins have offered Slowey and Wilson Ramos to the Mariners for Cliff Lee.

This offer is different than the Ramos + Aaron Hicks package that was reported by AOL Fanhouse yesterday.

The Star Tribune's Joe Christensen also posted some information about the Twins' involvement in the Lee sweepstakes, and he mentions Seattle is scouting Slowey, Ramos, and other young players.

The Slowey package seems much more realistic from the Twins' standpoint, because he is far more replaceable in the organization than Hicks, who is regarded as one of the top outfield prospects in all of baseball.

After another shaky outing Wednesday, however, Slowey's ERA is 4.74 on the season, although he has shown much more upside than his numbers this year suggest.

Morneau, Young banged up

Young and Justin Morneau were each involved in minor collisions -- Young's wrist grazed Span's shin while sliding on Bautista's inside-the-park home run, and Morneau had his bell rung while sliding into second late in the game -- and both are considered day-to-day, according to MLB.com

Michael Cuddyer took over for Morneau at first base in the eighth inning.

Guerrier going through rough stretch

The Twins entered Wednesday night with the second-lowest bullpen ERA in baseball (2.99), but they've seemingly had a difficult time finding a trustworthy late-inning bridge.

Not to mention, the man standing at the end of that bridge -- Jon Rauch -- hasn't been Mr. Reliable by any means either.

On Wednesday night it was the usually-reliable Matt Guerrier who walked Bautista in the seventh inning of a 5-5 game, then allowed a run-scoring double to Vernon Wells, giving the Blue Jays a 6-5 lead. Guerrier also allowed four runs on Saturday against Tampa Bay, and he's allowed at least one run in four of his last five appearances.

Power surge on road

With two more home runs on Wednesday night -- a two-run blast by Hudson in the fourth inning, and a solo shot by Young in the fifth -- the Twins now have 49 bombs in 41 road games, as opposed to just 26 in 43 games at Target Field.

Justin Morneau has hit 14 of his 18 home runs on the road, and Joe Mauer has hit all four of his on the road. Young has hit seven of his 10 home runs on the road.

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