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Vargas' solo blast lifts Twins over Cards

Jun 18, 2015 - 11:40 PM Minneapolis, MN ( - Kennys Vargas blasted a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Minnesota Twins a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.

Joe Mauer tied the game in the eighth with a homer off reliever Kevin Siegrist, then Vargas crushed a Carlos Villanueva (3-2) offering over the wall in right for the win.

"A couple of big moments from a couple of guys who are looking for something to get them jumpstarted," said Twins manager Paul Molitor. "Obviously it was a big hit for Joe in that situation and for Kennys to win the game."

Minnesota earned its second straight victory over the Cardinals after dropping both meetings in St. Louis earlier this week.

Blaine Boyer (2-2) grabbed the win in relief of Twins starter Mike Pelfrey, who yielded one run on four hits and a walk over eight innings.

Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia was also locked in throughout the afternoon, scattering four hits and two walks in six-plus scoreless frames. Garcia entered the game coming off eight scoreless innings in his last start against Kansas City.

"He threw terrific. He really had a good feel for everything," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Garcia. "It's just a shame we couldn't make more of it."

Jason Heyward homered in defeat to account for the Cardinals' lone run.

Pelfrey and Garcia were both dealing from the onset, with Minnesota putting together the only real threat over the first six innings.

Brian Dozier led off the home first with a walk and advanced on Trevor Plouffe's single two batters later. Matt Carpenter then saved an extra-base hit off the bat of Torii Hunter, stabbing the hard grounder to get Plouffe at second on the force. Garcia worked out of early trouble by getting Eddie Rosario swinging at a breaking ball in the dirt.

Heyward launched a 3-1 sinker deep to right for his sixth homer of the season for a 1-0 lead in the seventh.

Minnesota knocked Garcia out of the game in the seventh as Hunter led off with a walk and Eddie Rosario legged out an infield single that originally was ruled an out. Maness came on in relief and Eduardo Nunez pushed both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt for the first out. After Maness intentionally walked Kurt Suzuki, Vargas bounced a grounder up the middle that was snared by Jhonny Peralta to start a 6-3 double play to end the frame.

Mauer tied the game with two outs in the eighth with a solo shot off Siegrist to left.

Carpenter doubled to start the ninth for St. Louis and moved to third on a groundout, but Boyer stranded him there with a strikeout of Mark Reynolds and a fly to right by Yadier Molina.

"You only get so many good opportunities and that was a really good opportunity," Matheny said.

Game Notes

The Cardinals continue their eight-game road trip in Philadelphia on Friday ... Pelfrey had gone 2-0 with a 3.15 ERA in three career starts against St. Louis coming in, the last coming in 2011 while with the Mets ... The Cardinals fell to 6-2 when playing on Thursday.