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Diamondbacks Rally Late, Twins Rally Later But Fall Short, 8-7

It all started out so well.

Michael Cuddyer, fresh off pall bearing duties for Twins legend Harmon Killebrew, crushed an Ian Kennedy pitch to left field for his fifth home run of the year in the 2nd inning, staking the Twins to an early 1-0 lead. Brian Duensing was Duenslinging (patent pending), retiring 12 D'backs in a row at one point. The game was cruising along, and your recap writer was convinced he'd be done writing this well before midnight.

But as a great man once said, "That's nice. You should write it down."

With two outs in the 5th, Duensing gave up a 2-out double to Xavier Nady, and as the old baseball saying goes, "2-out doubles will haunt," as Kelly Johnson plated Nady with a bloop single to tie the game.

Trevor Plouffe got the run back in the top of the sixth with a long home run of his own, and it looked like order had been restored. After the Twins hit some very hard outs in the seventh, Arizona led off the bottom half of the inning with four straight hits off on Duensing, taking a 3-2 lead and leading to an appearance from Glen Perkins. After two consecutive bunts from the bottom of the order that put runners on third and second, the Twins intentionally walked Willie Effing Bloomquist for some reason that I will never, ever understand. Ryan Roberts drilled a bases-clearing double to clear the bases, and that looked to be the end of it.

The Twins did close the gap to 6-4 on a deep, long, ump-reviewed triple from Jason Kubel, Professional Hitter, in the 8th, but Kevin Slowey immediately gave up two runs in the D'backs half of the 8th, and THAT looked to be the end of it.

HOWEVAH: Danny Valencia hit the Twins' third solo home run of the game to make the game 8-5, and then the Arizona bullpen decided to make things really interesting, with walks, walks, Drew Butera doubles (!) and walks, making the score 8-7 with the bases loaded, one out, and Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau up next. Would the Twins complete an improbable rally? No. No, they would not. Arizona's submarining lefty Joe Paterson got the call, got Kubel looking, then induced a grounder into the Morneau shift to end it.

Studs: Kubel, Plouffe, Valencia, Duensing in innings 1-6, and sure, Drew Butera, why not?

Duds: Duensing in inning 7, the bullpen, Morneau (struck out badly as the potential tying run in the 8th), whoever thought it was a good idea to IBB Bloomquist, especially since they lost by one freaking run.