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Valencia delivers in ninth, sends Twins over Tribe

Jul 20, 2011 - 5:46 AM Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Danny Valencia ripped a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Minnesota Twins to a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

With the bases loaded and one away, Valencia lifted a 2-1 fastball from Chris Perez (2-5) into left field to plate Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer.

Glen Perkins (2-1) threw a perfect top of the ninth to earn the win, as the Twins rebounded after losing both games of Monday's series-opening double- header.

The Indians wasted a brilliant performance from Justin Masterson, who did not issue a walk and allowed just four hits while striking out six over 7 2/3 scoreless innings.

"I didn't make pitches when I needed to," said Perez. "I feel bad for Masterson. He pitched a hell of a game for us, put us in a position to stomp on their throat and I gave it up."

After Alexi Casilla flied out to open the ninth, Mauer drew a walk and advanced to third on Cuddyer's double to left.

Perez then intentionally walked Thome to get to Valencia, who proved ready for the moment.

The Indians' lone run came in the fifth.

Lou Marson led off with a single before Francisco Liriano drilled Travis Buck in the head with a fastball. Buck walked off under his own power and was replaced by pinch-runner Luis Valbuena.

Ezequiel Carrera then singled to load the bases and, after an Orlando Hudson pop out, Asdrubal Cabrera lifted a sac fly to right field.

Liriano got Carlos Santana to pop out to escape further damage. In all, he surrendered just four hits, while walking four and striking out five over six innings.

"Our pitchers did a great job keeping us in the game and giving us a chance to win," said Cuddyer. "That's all you can ask for from those guys and fortunately we were able to scrape a couple across at the end."

The teams will wrap up the four-game series with a day tilt on Wednesday.

Game Notes

Initial reports indicate Buck has a head contusion and no symptoms of a concussion...Perkins has allowed just one earned run over his last 13 appearances.