Twins
Royals
4 - 3 Final/12
  for this game

Cuddyer lifts Twins past Royals

May 28, 2008 - 6:18 AM By Marc Bowman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- The Minnesota Twins blew a three-run ninth-inning lead, but rebounded to capture the first game of a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals, 4-3, Tuesday night.

Michael Cuddyer's third hit of the game proved to be the game-winner in the 12th inning.

Joe Mauer reached on a one-out walk and advanced to third on Justin Morneau's single before Cuddyer lined a 2-2 pitch from Leo Nunez (3-1) into right field for his second go-ahead RBI of the game.

"A win's always fun, but this is not what I would call a fun win," Cuddyer said. "This was a tribute to the pitching staff and to the bullpen, to go out there and keep them from scoring and give us a chance to win."

Jesse Crain (2-2) worked a scoreless 11th and Matt Guerrier closed out the Royals for his first save of the year.

"This kind of game says a lot about our bullpen," Crain said. "We've been together a long time and we've been in that situation before, so we're used to coming into games like we did and keeping it close."

"Our bullpen did very well and made some really good pitches," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They got through a couple of innings out there to give us an opportunity to come back and win the ballgame. I'm having a hard time with this one right here because I'm so disappointed. We won the game and we kept playing, but it was sure disappointing. I guess it's a win and we'll take it, but it sure was disappointing with Blackie pitching so well."

In the longest outing of his career, Minnesota's rookie righthander Nick Blackburn hurled 8 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits, walking none and striking out four as he worked more than a two-ball count on just one batter and allowed only four runners past first base.

"It's always a goal of mine," Blackburn said of throwing first- pitch strikes to 27 of 32 batters faced, including the last 11 overall. "Some nights I'm a little off. Tonight everything was clicking pretty well."

The Twins jumped in front on Cuddyer's RBI single before Jason Kubel followed with a run-scoring grounder for a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.

"With the situation of hitting where I am in the lineup there are going to be guys on base," Cuddyer said. "I was fortunate that I got them to fall in when it counted. I don't think it's any secret that I've been scuffling a bit, but I'm making contact and hopefully today will be the start of something better."

Alexi Casilla singled in the next inning to score Brendan Harris for a 3-0 Minnesota advantage. Casilla collected three hits in the game and has hit safely in five straight contests while Morneau also had three hits on the night.

After Alex Gordon and Miguel Olivo reached base with one out in the ninth, Blackburn turned the game over to closer Joe Nathan, who was perfect in 13 previous save opportunities.

"Nick deserved the win," Nathan said. "Obviously he pitched well enough to get a win. The most important thing is that we won the game. That's all that matters. You've just got to make your pitches and the results are the results. I felt good giving up a fly ball, but he just happened to put it in the right spot."

Mark Teahen jumped on Nathan's first pitch, lifting a fly ball down the left field line which eluded Delmon Young's diving catch attempt. Gordon and Olivo came home ahead of Teahen, who raced around the bases for an inside-the-park homer to tie the score, 3-3.

"I guess I just placed it right," Teahen said. "I was just trying to put Nathan in play. He's a tough at-bat."

"I think Delmon just made a mistake," Gardenhire said. "Its an honest effort mistake and he was trying to make a play but we have to know situations. You can't leave your feet in left field in that situation. I know it was right on the line, but it's not a play where you can go diving all out and let three runs come in."

Righthander Brian Bannister labored through 111 pitches in five innings for Kansas City, allowing three runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out two.

"I was very happy with the way I threw," Bannister said. "If a runner got on base I was trying to make sure he wouldn't score. I was doing everything I could not to give up big hits. It's gotten to the point recently where everybody is kind of down if the other team scores at all."

The Royals dropped their ninth straight for their longest losing streak since a 13-game slide May 12-24, 2006.

"I'm disheartened and disappointed," Kansas City manager Trey Hillman said. "I'm not going to sugarcoat it. It's frustrating. We're in desperate times, no doubt about it."

"This wasn't an easy one to take," Teahen said. "I didn't get too much over the top (after tying the score), but when you catch a break like that you think maybe it's going to turn the tide. We just didn't finish the job. This isn't a huge mountain to climb. We can turn it around and get it going in the other direction. It just takes one win."








  • AL
    FINAL 12
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
    10 11 12 R H E
    -- -- -- - - -
    MINNESOTA 0 0 1 4 12 0
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 0 3 11 0 (FINAL 12)

    BATTERIES: MIN

    May 27 11:53 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MICHAEL CUDDYER SCORED JOE MAUER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CUDDYER ON FIRST, J MORNEAU ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 4
    KANSAS CITY 3 TOP, 12TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.247, 0-FOR-5, RBI)

    Twins 4, Royals 3  Top 12, 0 OutsMay 27 11:37 PM
  • 155
    roots
    DialH Added 5 roots

    Twins 3, Royals 3  Bot 11, 0 OutsMay 27 11:28 PM
  • 150
    roots
    Supernatural24 Added 5 roots

    Twins 3, Royals 3  Bot 11, 0 OutsMay 27 11:24 PM
  • 145
    roots
    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Twins 3, Royals 3  Bot 11, 0 OutsMay 27 11:21 PM
  • 135
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 53 roots (Extra Innings)

    Twins 3, Royals 3  Top 10, 0 OutsMay 27 10:53 PM
  • 140
    roots
    Waterboy3939 Added 5 roots

    Twins 3, Royals 3  Top 10, 0 OutsMay 27 10:52 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN INSIDE-THE-PARK HOME RUN BY MARK TEAHEN (3) TO
    LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE 9TH OFF JOE NATHAN SCORED ALEX GORDON AND
    MIGUEL OLIVO.
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 3, KANSAS CITY 3
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J BUCK (.252, 0-FOR-3)

    Twins 3, Royals 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsMay 27 10:48 PM
  • 82
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Twins 3, Royals 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsMay 27 10:48 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Twins 3, Royals 0  Bot 9, 0 OutsMay 27 10:44 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEXI CASILLA SCORED BRENDAN HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A CASILLA ON SECOND, C GOMEZ ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 3
    KANSAS CITY 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.333, 0-FOR-2)

    Twins 3, Royals 0  Top 5, 0 OutsMay 27 9:32 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JASON KUBEL SCORED JUSTIN MORNEAU.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M CUDDYER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2
    KANSAS CITY 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.268, 0-FOR-1)

    Twins 2, Royals 0  Top 4, 0 OutsMay 27 9:15 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MICHAEL CUDDYER SCORED JOE MAUER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CUDDYER ON FIRST, J MORNEAU ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 1
    KANSAS CITY 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.253, 0-FOR-1)

    Twins 1, Royals 0  Top 4, 0 OutsMay 27 9:12 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Twins 0, Royals 0  Top 4, 0 OutsMay 27 9:02 PM