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Toronto 9, Twins 2: Bullpen Falters in 7 Run 7th

The Twins continue to slide, losing 3 out of 4 at home to the AL East leading Toronto Blue Jays. We expected last night's matchup of #1 starters Liriano and Halladay to be a pitchers duel, and we were not disappointed. Through 4 innings, both teams had scratched out a single run apiece, Toronto scoring an unearned run in the first on a bumbled routine cutoff by Casilla, the Twins scoring on a Delmon Young grounder in the second that Marco Scutaro couldn't quite get out of his glove. Toronto went up 2-1 in the 5th on a Bautista double and Aaron Hill single. Meanwhile, Halladay cruised through 6 innings, getting out of a first and second, none out jam in the 5th by striking out Casilla, Morneau and Kubel to end the inning. I'll tell you one thing, you don't want to make Halladay angry...

Unfortunately, Liriano threw a total of 105 pitches through 6 innings and was relieved by Matt Guerrier. A quick single and homerun later, and Toronto was up 4-1. The Twins still had a chance at a comeback until Breslow and Millar proceeded to pour gasoline on the fire, finally giving up a Kevin Millar grand slam to increase the lead to 9-1. Over the final three innings, the Twins could muster only a Cuddyer homerun in the 8th to go down in defeat 9-2. 

In a game like this, it's tough to come up with three stars of the game...

3 * * * Francisco Liriano: 6 IP, 7H, 2R / 1ER, 5 SO / 1 BB. Cisco shut down a very hot Toronto offense, giving the Twins a solid chance at winning. Giving up only 1 BB is especially promising, given his 4 last time out against the White Sox.

2 ** Michael Cuddyer: 2/4, 2R, HR, RBI. Accounted for both Twins runs, plus a stellar catch to rob Aaron Hill in the first.

1 * Brian Buscher: 2/4. Upped his average to .375 (over 8 AB), plus some much improved defense last night at third. Brian's continuing to make his case for more playing time.