Maybe the Twins caught a break when Anibal Sanchez had to leave the game with a blister. With two outs and a full count on Brian Dozier in the bottom of the third, training staff came out when catcher Bryan Holaday noticed that something was amiss. To that point, Sanchez was just one over the minimum and the Tigers were up 2-0 thanks to a Miguel Cabrera double and Victor Martinez sac fly.
Phil Hughes, on the other hand, was as good as he's been all season. After the sac fly from Martinez, Hughes retired the next 15 Tigers in a row and 19 of the remaining 21 batters he faced on the afternoon. He was typically fly ball prone, recording 10 outs through the air compared to just three on the ground, but he struck out six and didn't walk anyone in seven innings.
All in all, Hughes allowed just four hits. The only one that was particularly well-struck was the Cabrera double, but Sam Fuld nearly caught that one. After that iffy first, Hughes was solid.
The Twins got back into the game in the fifth, when Jose Ortega and Phil Coke couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat. Fuld walked and stole second, and Aaron Hicks walked next. Eduardo Escobar put down a bunt that Holaday threw over the head of Nick Castellanos at third, bringing Fuld home. Dozier walked and Joe Mauer did the same with the bases loaded, knotting the contest at two. Trevor Plouffe came through with the only hit of the inning, grounding hard up the middle to bring home two.
Josmil Pinto added solo homer in the eighth and Martinez hit one for the Tigers off Glen Perkins in the ninth, but he and Jared Burton both worked around base runners to keep the lead in tact and lock down the win.
Minnesota pulled off five runs today, once again, not because of doing well with runners in scoring position - where they were just 1-for-10 as a team today - but because they walked eight more times. Plouffe's bit hit and Pinto's fifth bomb of the season worked, but it was the walks (and the bad throw by Holaday) that did the heavy lifting to get the Twins back into the game.
If the game isn't rained out tomorrow, we'll see you back here! And...even if it is rained out...we'll see you back here!
TWINS WIN! WOOO! THE DREAM LIVES ON FOR ANOTHER DAY!
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