for this game

Monroe, Kubel help Twins rally past A's

Apr 23, 2008 - 6:28 AM By Tom Kent PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- The Minnesota Twins made Joe Blanton's bad month worse.

Craig Monroe drove in three runs and Jason Kubel added a go-ahead bloop single in eighth inning as the Twins edged the Oakland Athletics, 5-4, on Tuesday.

Blanton (1-4), who was Oakland's Opening Day starter, entered having received two runs of support or less in four of his first five starts.

Making his major league-leading sixth start of the season, Blanton was given a 4-3 lead when Emil Brown belted a two-run homer in the sixth inning. But the portly righthander was unable to keep the Twins at bay and fell to 3-4 lifetime against Minnesota.

"It's a long season and I hope things turn around," said Blanton, who allowed five runs - four earned - and nine hits in 7 2/3 innings. "If you look at the linescore, it doesn't look like I pitched too well, but there were three or four hard-hit balls and a few that just fell in. You know how you throw, and you just have to take that confidence into the next start."

Monroe tied it at 4-4 in the seventh, when he belted a first-pitch offering from Blanton over the left field wall with one out for his first home run of the season.

"It's a groove thing," said Monroe, who recorded his third multi-hit performance in five games. "I'm getting at-bats and feeling more comfortable up there. Right now, I'm not worrying about where and when I'll play, I'm just trying to be productive."

"I thought Joe actually pitched well the majority of the game," Athletics manager Bob Geren said of Blanton. "He make a couple of mistakes to the same guy. He didn't get his location where he wanted with Craig Monroe, and he got a couple of big hits."

With runners on the corners and two outs in the eighth, Alan Embree relieved Blanton and was greeted by Kubel's bloop single that fell between center fielder Ryan Sweeney and second baseman Mark Ellis, plating Joe Mauer with the go-ahead run.

Juan Rincon (2-0) threw a scoreless top of the seventh to pick up the win and, after Pat Neshek worked a perfect eighth, Joe Nathan allowed a hit but struck out three in the ninth for his seventh save.

With Oakland trailing, 3-2, in the sixth, Jack Cust drew a walk against Minnesota starter Livan Hernandez and Brown deposited a 1-2 breaking ball over the left field wall for a 4-3 lead.

It was just the third home run in 15 games for the A's, who entered with a major league-low seven blasts.

"It was a curveball up," Hernandez said. "He hit it on the right spot of the bat and it went out. In that situation, I try to keep the ball down, but I left it up."

An RBI single by Monroe in the first gave the Twins the lead, and he made it 2-0 with a run-scoring double in the fifth. Mike Lamb followed with a two-base hit, plating Monroe for a three-run advantage.

Monroe was 3-for-3 against Blanton, improving to 11-for-14 lifetime vs. the righthander.

"I don't know why, and I really don't even want to think about it," Monroe said of his success against Blanton. "I just know the ball seems to find holes when I face him, and I hope that continues."

"Some guys have success against certain pitchers, and no one knows why," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I just hope he continues to hit like he did tonight." Kurt Suzuki cut the deficit to 3-2 with a two-run single in the sixth.

Hernandez, who won four of his first five starts this season, allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings.

"Livan was OK," Gardenhire said. "He battled. They hit some pretty good pitches and he made a few mistakes, but he kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win. That's all you can ask."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MINNESOTA 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 1 0 5 12 2
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 4 8 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: MIN - LIVAN HERNANDEZ, JUAN RINCON (7TH), PAT NESHEK (8TH), JOE
    NATHAN (9TH) AND JOE MAUER
    OAK - JOE BLANTON, ALAN EMBREE (8TH), SANTIAGO CASILLA
    (8TH) AND KURT SU

    Apr 23 12:51 AM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Twins 5, Athletics 4  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 23 12:26 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON KUBEL SCORED JOE MAUER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J KUBEL ON FIRST, D YOUNG ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 5
    OAKLAND 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: C MONROE (.310, 3-FOR-3, HR, 3 RBI)

    Twins 5, Athletics 4  Top 8, 0 OutsApr 23 12:16 AM
  • 5
    roots
    bigbelly Added 5 roots

    Twins 4, Athletics 4  Top 8, 0 OutsApr 23 12:04 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CRAIG MONROE (1) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF JOE BLANTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 4, OAKLAND 4
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M LAMB (.158, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Twins 4, Athletics 4  Top 7, 0 OutsApr 22 11:47 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY EMIL BROWN (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF LIVAN HERNANDEZ SCORED JACK CUST.
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 3, OAKLAND 4
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: R SWEENEY (.304, 0-FOR-2)

    Twins 3, Athletics 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 22 11:39 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KURT SUZUKI SCORED BOBBY CROSBY AND CHRIS
    DENORFIA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K SUZUKI ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 3
    OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D BARTON (.273, 1-FOR-2)

    Twins 3, Athletics 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 22 11:18 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIKE LAMB SCORED CRAIG MONROE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M LAMB ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 3
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: N PUNTO (.286, 0-FOR-1)

    Twins 3, Athletics 0  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 22 11:09 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CRAIG MONROE SCORED JASON KUBEL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C MONROE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M LAMB (.143, 0-FOR-1)

    Twins 2, Athletics 0  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 22 11:08 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CRAIG MONROE SCORED DELMON YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, 0 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 1
    OAKLAND 0 END TOP, 2ND

    Twins 1, Athletics 0  Top 2, 0 OutsApr 22 10:27 PM