for this game

Perkins, Twins sweep Nationals

Jun 19, 2008 - 11:12 PM By Jon Avise PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Maybe Minnesota should just move to the National League.

After spending the past weekend beating up on interleague rival Milwaukee, the second place Twins continued their decade-plus of regular season dominance over the NL on Thursday afternoon at the Metrodome.

Glen Perkins scattered 10 hits across eight innings and Michael Cuddyer and Brian Buscher each drove in a pair of runs as the Twins finished off a three-game sweep of the National League-worst Washington Nationals with a 9-3 victory.

The win was the sixth against an NL opponent in 2008 and No. 112 overall - the fourth-most in the major leagues since the AL vs. NL matchups were introduced to the schedule in 1997.

Perkins (3-2) allowed double-digit hits, but only one extra-base knock - an eighth inning home run by Dimitri Young - and faced more than five batters in inning just once. That was the third inning when he gave up two runs on four hits and surrendered Minnesota's early 2-0 advantage.

"I don't want to jinx myself, but I'll give up a home run here and there but they've all been solos," Perkins said. "The key is making pitches with guys on base.

"You know, everybody's gonna give up hits, everybody's gonna give up runs. It's avoiding that big inning by not giving up that big hit with guys on base ... it's about minimizing those innings."

The Twins had jumped ahead in the second, with Jason Kubel's double plating Cuddyer, and Buscher's bloop single beyond former Twin Cristian Guzman's glove scored Kubel.

Run-scoring singles by Guzman and Elijah Dukes knotted the game at two in the top of the third, but a Cuddyer double scored Joe Mauer in the bottom half of the frame to put the Twins ahead 3-2.

Guzman's two hits on the afternoon extended his hit streak to 12 games, a Nationals' season-high. The shortstop who helped Minnesota to three consecutive division titles from 2002-2004 has now hit safely in all six games he has played against his former team since signing with Washington before the 2005 season.

But the struggling Nationals left 10 runners on base and allowed Minnesota to blow the game open in the fourth.

Buscher scored the Twins' fourth run on a sacrifice fly by Alexi Casilla, and Brendan Harris trotted home on Mauer's second single of the ballgame. Mauer's pair of hits continued his hot hitting in the month of June. The former batting champion is hitting .400 (22-for-55) for the month.

Minnesota continued piling it on. A triple by Cuddyer scored Mauer and Justin Morneau to put the game well out of reach for the Nationals and losing pitcher Shawn Hill (1-4), who allowed seven runs - six earned - in 3 2/3 innings.

"It's always nice to see the middle of the lineup getting hits," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Cuddyer scored Minnesota's next run, coming home on a Joel Hanrahan wild pitch, then Buscher drove in his second run of the ballgame to finish the Twins' scoring, a sacrifice fly plating Kubel to make it 9-2.

"It was nice we were able to get some hits with runners in scoring position and (that) we were able to shut them down with runners in scoring position," Cuddyer said. "Giving up hits on the defensive side isn't a big deal if you can get the outs."

Young, whose younger brother Delmon, the Twins' left fielder, went 0-for-4 on the day, got one back for Washington with his towering homer in the eighth.

But it was too little, too late for the Nationals.

It was just more than a week ago that Minnesota dropped their sixth straight game in a shutout loss at Cleveland. The Twins have since won six of eight, and outscored Washington 22-6 during their three-game thumping of the Nationals, collecting 30 hits and seeing 11 players have multi-hit games.

"Sometimes you go through times when nothing works, sometimes you go through times when everything works," Cuddyer said. "That's what happened this series."








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 10 1
    MINNESOTA 0 2 1 4 0 0 2 0 x 9 12 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - SHAWN HILL, BRIAN SANCHES (4TH), JOEL HANRAHAN (7TH), JON
    RAUCH (8TH) AND WIL NIEVES
    MIN - GLEN PERKINS, CRAIG BRESLOW (9TH) AND JOE MAUER

    HOME RUNS: WAS -

    Jun 19 3:49 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DMITRI YOUNG (3) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF GLEN PERKINS.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3, MINNESOTA 9
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A BOONE (.261, 0-FOR-3)

    Nationals 3, Twins 9  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 19 3:22 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY BRIAN BUSCHER SCORED JASON KUBEL.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    MINNESOTA 9 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B HARRIS (.238, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Nationals 2, Twins 9  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 19 3:14 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY JOEL HANRAHAN ALLOWED MICHAEL CUDDYER TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J KUBEL ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    MINNESOTA 8 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.273, 0-FOR-3)

    Nationals 2, Twins 8  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 19 3:12 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY MICHAEL CUDDYER SCORED JOE MAUER AND JUSTIN
    MORNEAU.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, M CUDDYER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    MINNESOTA 7 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.260, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Nationals 2, Twins 7  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 19 2:21 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOE MAUER SCORED BRENDAN HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J MAUER ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    MINNESOTA 5 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.306, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals 2, Twins 5  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 19 2:18 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ALEXI CASILLA SCORED BRIAN BUSCHER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B HARRIS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    MINNESOTA 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.335, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Nationals 2, Twins 4  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 19 2:16 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY WILY MO PENA ALLOWED JOE MAUER TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CUDDYER ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    MINNESOTA 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.262, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Nationals 2, Twins 3  Bot 3, 0 OutsJun 19 1:59 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ELIJAH DUKES SCORED WIL NIEVES.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, E DUKES ON FIRST, C GUZMAN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    MINNESOTA 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: L MILLEDGE (.253, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 2, Twins 2  Top 3, 0 OutsJun 19 1:50 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CRISTIAN GUZMAN SCORED FELIPE LOPEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C GUZMAN ON FIRST, W NIEVES ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    MINNESOTA 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: E DUKES (.241, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 1, Twins 2  Top 3, 0 OutsJun 19 1:48 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRIAN BUSCHER SCORED JASON KUBEL.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B BUSCHER ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B HARRIS (.236, 2 HR, 18 RBI)

    Nationals 0, Twins 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 19 1:35 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY JASON KUBEL SCORED MICHAEL CUDDYER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J KUBEL ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.276, 1 HR, 24 RBI)

    Nationals 0, Twins 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 19 1:33 PM