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Updated: May 8th, 2010 9:38pm
Young, Butera power Twins' win behind strong start by Baker

Young, Butera power Twins' win behind strong start by Baker

by Tom Pelissero
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MINNEAPOLIS -- This time, the short-handed Minnesota Twins did enough to support a solid outing by their starting pitcher.

Delmon Young and Drew Butera each drove in two runs Saturday night at Target Field to power a 6-1 victory behind Scott Baker, who allowed only three baserunners and struck out eight over eight innings in the back end of a doubleheader.

It snapped a two-game skid for the Twins (20-11), who had scored only six runs in 29 innings without Joe Mauer (heel) and shortstop J.J. Hardy (wrist) before bringing in three in the eighth inning.

Mauer pinch hit in the eighth -- his first appearance since sustaining a deep tissue bruise in his left heel April 30 at Kansas City -- and struck out with the bases loaded, setting the stage for Butera's two-run, two-out rip through the left side of the infield. That followed a run-scoring ground-rule double to center field by Young, who finished 3-for-4.

Consecutive two-out doubles by Young and Nick Punto put the Twins up 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning. Baltimore evened the score in the fifth on a towering home run to right field by Luke Scott.

The Twins regained the lead in the sixth, when Michael Cuddyer grounded into a bases-loaded play, scoring one, and Young fisted an RBI single over shortstop.

That left the score at 3-1 until the three-run eighth.

Right-hander Nick Blackburn (2-1, 5.79 ERA) gets the ball for Sunday's 1:10 p.m. series finale against Baltimore lefty Brian Matusz (2-2, 3.93).

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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