Before we get to the wrap, will somebody please tell Bert that the new third baseman's last name is "Valencia," not "Valarde?" Thank you.
Although it took longer than it should have, the Twins, on the strength of Delmon Young's bat and (this is not a typo) multiple 2-out extra base hits, defeated Oakland 5-4 in 11 innings on Friday night.
Justin Morneau started the Twins off on the right foot with a loooooong 2-out home run in the first, driving in the Baby Jesus. Scott Baker held this lead through the middle innings, giving up just one run on an infield single by Kurt Suzuki. He wasn't the sharpest he's ever been, and benefitted from some line drives being hit right at Danny V-A-L-E-N-C-I-A (BERT!) and Jason Kubel.
Oakland starter Dallas Braden recovered from his rough start and set down 11 Twins in a row at one point, before running into more trouble with two outs in the sixth. With Mauer and Morneau on base again, Jason Kubel singled to score Mauer and Delmon Young doubled to score Morneau to extend the Twins lead to 4-1.
Unfortunately, this would not prove to be enough of a margin, as Baker's luck ran out in the 7th and 8th. Kevin Kouzmanoff drilled a breaking ball deep into the left field seats to cut the lead to 4-3, and Rajai Davis dropped another breaking ball just over the left field fence to tie the game.
After that, it came down to the bullpens. Jose Mijares and Matt Guerrier ably pitched the Twins to the 11th inning. Meanwhile, former Twin Craig Breslow baffled the Twins before giving way to Andrew Bailey. Bailey was the victim of some truly godawful fielding from Oakland left fielder Gabe Gross, who played a deep Justin Morneau fly in the 11th inning like it was beer-league softball. Morneau was credited with a double on the play, and after a Jason Kubel's Beard strikeout, Delmon Young knocked Morneau in with the game-winning single. Jon Rauch came on in the bottom of the inning and notched his relatively stress-free 14th save.
The losing streak is over. The Tigers lost to Bruce Chen. It is late. Enjoy your weekend, everybody.