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Updated: May 14th, 2012 9:58pm
Twins tie it on Doumit's HR, but Capps gives up winning run in ninth

Twins tie it on Doumit's HR, but Capps gives up winning run in ninth

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins made a late charge, thanks to Ryan Doumit's two-run blast in the eighth, but Matt Capps allowed the go-ahead RBI single to Shin-Soo Choo in the ninth allowing the Cleveland Indians to sneak out with a 5-4 win.

The skinny

The Twins fought back from a three-run deficit in the eighth inning, but Choo's two-out, two-strike RBI single in the top of the ninth inning gave the Indians a 5-4 win.

"He's been lights-out. He's out closer," manager Ron Gardenhire said of Capps, who has zero blown saves but two losses. "The ninth inning like that, that's who goes out there. ... He just didn't get it done."

Indians right-hander Jeanmar Gomez shut the Twins down for the better part of seven innings, but Minnesota made up for it with three runs off Cleveland's bullpen.

Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Josh Willingham delivered a two-out RBI double off right-hander Vinnie Pestano that scored Denard Span. The next batter, Doumit, turned on a 2-0, 95-mph fastball by left-hander Nick Hagadone and put it into the left-field upper deck to tie the game.

The Twins were unable to do anything in the ninth against Indians closer Chris Perez.

It was revealed Sunday that Carl Pavano has been pitching all season with discomfort in his shoulder, which helps explain the drop in his fastball velocity. Pavano said Sunday he planned to pitch through any discomfort for at least another start or two, and that's what he did on Monday night against the Indians.

Pavano cruised through the first three innings, keeping Indians hitters off-balance with good off-speed pitches and a fastball that sat mostly around 88 mph -- up from his previous starts.

The right-hander took a 1-0 lead into the fourth inning, but the Indians scored two in the top of the frame on an RBI groundout by Travis Hafner that scored Jason Kipnis and a sac fly by Santana that scored Asdrubal Cabrera.

Casey Kotchman added two more with a two-run homer in the top of the fifth to make it 4-1.

Pavano went on to pitch one more inning but gave way to Francisco Liriano after throwing just 72 pitches. He was charged with four earned runs on six hits in six innings, striking out three and walking nobody.

"It felt pretty good," Pavano said. "That one inning kind of caught up to me real quick -- the two runs, and I hung that changeup for the home run. Other than that I thought I commanded the ball pretty well. It's tough to put your team down four runs and get a win."

Darin Mastroianni used his speed in the bottom of the third inning to put the Twins up 1-0. He broke immediately from second base after a pitch thrown in the dirt by Gomez rattled between the feet of catcher Carlos Santana. Santana's throw to third skipped into left field allowing Mastroianni to score easily.

Joe Mauer heard a fair amount of boos after grounding out with runners in scoring position to end the fifth.

Liriano pitched two scoreless innings of relief -- his first appearance out of the bullpen since being removed from the starting rotation last week. The left-hander struck out three and walked three.

"Sure, we're playing better baseball," Gardenhire said. "But winning has to be a part of it right now. We put ourselves in a big enough hole, you can't afford to lose and say you're playing better baseball. We all know that. So this is a hard loss. We have to win. We have to win to get back and get close in this thing."

Turning point

Kotchman singled with one out in the ninth off Capps, and with two outs he moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. That wild pitch left Capps with almost no room for error against Choo, who eventually delivered the decisive hit.

"It was a split," Capps said of the wild pitch. "It was down. I threw it where I wanted it to go. Unfortunately he didn't swing at it and it just kind of hit off Drew and bounced to the side.

"If I do that again 100 times and 90 of them they probably fall in right in front of him. With Drew back there he throws him out or the guy doesn't go. I wouldn't change it."

Regarding the pitch to Choo, Capps said it "just ran back over the middle of the plate. I made a nice pitch two pitches before that kind of froze him, and I was trying to throw that same pitch but leaked over a little bit and ran back over the middle of the plate."

Numbers game

2: Minor league promotions on Monday. Outfielder Wilkin Ramirez and right-handed reliever Lester Oliveros were promoted from Double-A New Britain to Triple-A Rochester. To make room, first baseman Aaron Bates and infielder Joe Thurston were released.

5.14: Pavano's ERA.

Health report

• Infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka (high ankle sprain) will be activated from the Triple-A disabled list on Tuesday. Prior to the injury Nishioka was hitting just .203/.299/.237 with one extra-base hit in 68 plate appearances.

• 1B Justin Morneau took early batting practice on the field on Monday. He could be activated as soon as Wednesday, but it's also possible Gardenhire could wait until later in the week to make the move. Morneau said he is willing to play through some soreness as long as his swing isn't altered.

On deck

Tuesday: vs. Indians, 12:10 p.m. RHP Jason Marquis (2-2, 6.26) vs. RHP Derek Lowe (5-1, 2.47).
Wednesday: @ Tigers, 6:05 p.m. RHP Nick Blackburn (1-4, 7.18) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (3-3, 5.18).
Thursday: @ Tigers, 12:05 p.m. RHP P.J. Walters (0-1, 3.00) vs. RHP Doug Fister (0-1, 0.54).

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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