for this game

Blackburn strong as Twins down slumping Diamondbacks

Jun 22, 2008 - 4:26 AM By Anthony Maggio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) - Nick Blackburn had another great outing and the Minnesota Twins scored all their runs in the seventh inning en route to a 6-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday at the Metrodome.

Brian Buscher drove in a pair of runs while Justin Morneau, Delmon Young, Brendan Harris and Alexi Casilla each chipped in an RBI in the decisive seventh frame for the Twins, who put up a six-run inning against the Diamondbacks for the second consecutive night after scoring a half-dozen against Randy Johnson on Friday.

Blackburn won his second straight start and held his opponent to two or fewer runs for the sixth time in his last seven outings as Minnesota tied a season high with its fifth straight victory.

The Twins (39-36) have won seven of their last eight games and pulled within 2 1/2 games of the American League Central Division-leading Chicago White Sox (41-33).

Micah Owings (6-6) was brilliant for six innings before Minnesota started its rally in the seventh.

The righthander entered the game in a three-week slump, going 0-3 with a 9.95 ERA in his previous four starts. He faced just two more than the minimum and didn't allow a run through six innings, but ultimately allowed three runs and five hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

Blackburn (6-4) was just as sharp - his only scoreboard blemish was Stephen Drew's leadoff double and Chad Tracy's two-out RBI single in the fourth inning. Drew also led off the game with a single, but those were the only three hits the rookie righthander allowed.

Blackburn retired the final 10 hitters he faced, didn't walk a batter and struck out three as he allowed no more than a run for the fifth time in 15 starts this season.

It appeared as though the Twins might waste Blackburn's effort until Joe Mauer led off the seventh with a bunt single down the third-base line with Mark Reynolds' injury replacement, Augie Ojeda, playing deep in the infield.

Morneau followed with an RBI double down the right-field line. Jason Kubel walked two batters later to put runners on the corners and end Owings' night.

Then Minnesota teed off on Chad Qualls.

Young singled in a run, Buscher doubled in two, Harris doubled home Buscher and Casilla followed a Carlos Gomez strikeout with another RBI single to chase Qualls and give Minnesota a five-run advantage.

The Twins have produced a six-run inning in three of their last four games, including Wednesday's 11-2 victory against Washington.

Arizona (39-36) has lost five of its last seven games and 16 of its last 22 road games dating back to May 9, but remains 4 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers (34-40) in the National League West Division.

Reynolds rolled his right ankle when he grounded out in the seventh inning. He fell to the ground in the batter's box, but eventually limped off the field under his own power.








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

    BATTERIES: ARI - MICAH OWINGS, CHAD QUALLS (7TH), JUAN CRUZ (7TH), LEO ROSALES
    (8TH) AND CHRIS SNYDER
    MIN - NICK BLACKBURN, MATT GUERRIER (8TH), DENNYS REYES
    (9TH) AND JOE MA

    Jun 21 9:50 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEXI CASILLA SCORED BRENDAN HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 6 RUNS IN, A CASILLA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    MINNESOTA 6 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.335, 1-FOR-3)

    Diamondbacks 1, Twins 6  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 21 9:17 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRENDAN HARRIS SCORED BRIAN BUSCHER.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, B HARRIS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    MINNESOTA 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: C GOMEZ (.273, 0-FOR-3)

    Diamondbacks 1, Twins 5  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 21 9:12 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRIAN BUSCHER SCORED JASON KUBEL AND DELMON
    YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, B BUSCHER ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    MINNESOTA 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B HARRIS (.245, 1-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks 1, Twins 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 21 9:11 PM
  • 5
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    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots

    Diamondbacks 1, Twins 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 21 9:11 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DELMON YOUNG SCORED JUSTIN MORNEAU.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D YOUNG ON FIRST, J KUBEL ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B BUSCHER (.321, 0-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks 1, Twins 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 21 9:09 PM
  • 40
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    RUWTbot Took away 42 roots (Close Finish)

    Diamondbacks 1, Twins 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 21 9:09 PM
  • 82
    roots
    alamowx Added 5 roots

    Diamondbacks 1, Twins 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 21 9:03 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED JOE MAUER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MORNEAU ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M CUDDYER (.254, 1-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks 1, Twins 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 21 9:03 PM
  • 77
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    RUWTbot Added 37 roots (Close Finish)

    Diamondbacks 1, Twins 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 21 9:03 PM
  • 40
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    RUWTbot Added 40 roots (Close Finish)

    Diamondbacks 1, Twins 0  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 21 8:58 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHAD TRACY SCORED STEPHEN DREW.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C TRACY ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    MINNESOTA 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: M REYNOLDS (.250, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks 1, Twins 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJun 21 8:13 PM