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Morneau's 10th-inning single lifts Twins over Indians

Apr 20, 2008 - 10:48 PM By Anthony Maggio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Brendan Harris had to sweat it out a bit before knowing his second-inning misplay wouldn't cost the Minnesota Twins a victory.

After failing to turn a double play that led to a run earlier in the game, Harris homered to tie it in the third inning and ultimately scored the winning run on Justin Morneau's two-out single in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Twins a 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday at the Metrodome.

Morneau's rope past a diving Ryan Garko was the third straight two-out single off Rafael Perez (0-1), which scored Harris from third base, giving Minnesota two wins in the three-game series.

"I was hoping it wouldn't be a one-run game, that we'd put a few more up and (the second-inning play) wouldn't come back to haunt us," Harris said. "But hey, it worked out, and we got the win."

Matt Guerrier (1-1) pitched a scoreless top of the 10th to earn the win for Minnesota, capping off 16 1/3 innings with just one earned run allowed by Twins relievers following a pair of disastrous outings in Detroit earlier in the week.

"When you play this many games you'll have a couple tough ones," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But I don't worry about this bullpen. These guys have a great track record of getting the job done. It's the strength of our baseball team and will be throughout the year."

The bullpen pitched three scoreless innings Sunday after seven strong frames from Scott Baker, who allowed five hits and a walk while striking out a season-high eight.

A day after the Twins had a stellar defensive effort - turning four double plays - they missed double-play opportunity which cost Baker his only run in the second inning.

Victor Martinez led off the frame with a single, followed by Jhonny Peralta's grounder to Nick Punto at shortstop. Punto got Martinez out at second base, but Harris' relay to first base went well over the head of Mike Lamb to allow Peralta to reach safely.

Asdrubal Cabrera drew a walk two batters later and Franklin Gutierrez followed with a two-out single under a diving Harris to score Peralta from second.

But the Indians' bats went silent from there, managing only four more hits the rest of the game. Cleveland's offense has been stagnant as of late with the team losing eight of its last 11 games.

The Indians hit just .202 (19-for-94) in the three games against the Twins.

"You've got to just keep going and each individual has to dig deep and really look at themselves and find out what they need to do to get themselves going," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "That's the only way it can happen."

Minnesota couldn't muster much offense either on Sunday, but Harris tied the score with his solo home run in the third inning before Baker and Paul Byrd traded zeros the next four innings.

Byrd allowed a run and six hits while striking out three without a walk. He remains winless in four starts this season and seven straight regular-season outings - although he did win both of his playoff starts in 2007.

The Indians threatened in the top of the ninth inning with Martinez's single and pinch runner Jamey Carroll reaching second on Peralta's sacrifice bunt. But Carlos Gomez made a highlight-reel catch on Garko's short fly ball to right-center to keep Carroll from advancing further.

Harris and Jason Kubel hit two-out singles in the bottom of the 10th inning, leading to Morneau's heroics. Making his first start of the season at designated hitter, Morneau had been 0-for-7 against Perez and struck out against him in the eighth inning before his game-winning at-bat.

"It's a situation where I told myself, 'You can't strike out again,'" Morneau said. "You've got to put the ball in play, and he ended up making enough of a mistake where he got it up, and I got it off a good part of the bat, snuck it through there."

Martinez was the only player with multiple hits in the game for Cleveland, which has lost two straight against Minnesota after winning eight in a row.

Harris had his second three-hit game of the season, while Kubel, Punto and Morneau all added two hits apiece.








  • AL
    FINAL 10
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    CLEVELAND 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    MINNESOTA 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
    10 R H E
    -- - - -
    CLEVELAND 0 1 6 0
    MINNESOTA 1 2 11 0 (FINAL 10)

    BATTERIES: CLE

    Apr 20 5:15 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED BRENDAN HARRIS.
    FINAL SCORE: MINNESOTA 2, CLEVELAND 1

    Indians 1, Twins 2  Bot 10, 0 OutsApr 20 5:15 PM
  • 140
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    RUWTbot Added 53 roots (Extra Innings)

    Indians 1, Twins 1  Top 10, 0 OutsApr 20 4:56 PM
  • EDog What a catch by Twins CF Gomez...if he missed that...Indians take the lead.

    Indians 1, Twins 1  Bot 9, 0 OutsApr 20 4:55 PM
  • 87
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    EDog Added 5 roots

    Indians 1, Twins 1  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 20 4:45 PM
  • 82
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    Stormtracker94 Added 5 roots

    Indians 1, Twins 1  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 20 4:38 PM
  • 77
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    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Indians 1, Twins 1  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 20 4:33 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRENDAN HARRIS (1) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 3RD OFF PAUL BYRD.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1, MINNESOTA 1
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.246, 0-FOR-1)

    Indians 1, Twins 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsApr 20 2:59 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ SCORED JHONNY PERALTA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F GUTIERREZ ON FIRST, A CABRERA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1
    MINNESOTA 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C BLAKE (.189, 1 HR, 10 RBI)

    Indians 1, Twins 0  Top 2, 0 OutsApr 20 2:39 PM
  • 5
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    LeRenard Added 5 roots

    Indians vs. TwinsApr 20 12:13 PM