for this game

Big fifth inning helps Twins down Diamondbacks

Jun 22, 2008 - 10:42 PM By Anthony Maggio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The white Metrodome roof in Minneapolis has claimed more than its fair share of outfielders. Conor Jackson and the Arizona Diamondbacks were just the latest victims.

Jackson misplayed Delmon Young's fly ball in the fifth inning and it ultimately led to five runs - all the Minnesota Twins would need to finish off their second straight series sweep with a 5-3 victory on Sunday.

Brian Buscher and Alexi Casilla both drove in two runs in the decisive frame and Livan Hernandez got the win against his former team as the Twins extended their winning streak to a season-high six games.

"A great homestand for us," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You can't do much better than that. The starting pitching's been fantastic this homestand. We're on a little bit of roll here. We've had some fun."

Hernandez (8-4) won back-to-back starts for the first time since winning three straight in early May and Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 19th save in 21 chances.

Hernandez held the Diamondbacks to three runs - one earned - on nine hits with one walk and five strikeouts in seven innings. Similar to Arizona starter Brandon Webb (11-4) in the fifth inning, Hernandez's only tough inning was brought on by a defensive mistake.

With runners on first and second base with two outs in the fourth inning, catcher Chris Snyder singled to left field. Young charged the ball hard hoping to make a play on Jackson, who was attempting to score from second base, but let the ball roll past him. Jackson and Mark Reynolds both scored and Snyder reached third on the error.

Snyder scored on a wild pitch the next at-bat. Jackson returned Young's favor in the fifth inning.

Playing in just his sixth game of the season in left field, Jackson lost Young's high fly ball with no outs and one on to net Young a double and put runners at second and third. Buscher followed with a single up the middle to cut the deficit to 3-2.

"I saw it off the bat, but that's about it," Jackson said. "I'm sure I'm not the first one to do it here and I'm sure I won't be the last. I didn't want to throw my hands up because if I throw my hands up he's probably going to score on that."

Brendan Harris followed with a single and Casilla singled in two more to give Minnesota the lead. Casilla scored the fifth run of the frame on Justin Morneau's sacrifice fly.

"It's a lot easier to go to the plate when you've got a guy in front of you that's hitting and a guy that's behind you that's hitting," Buscher said. "You don't try to put too much pressure on yourself. You just go up there relaxed and let things happen."

The Twins have plenty of guys swinging the bat well, evidenced by five straight games with at least a four-run inning and at least a five-run frame in each of the three contests against Arizona. This time, Webb was the victim.

Webb lost consecutive starts for the second time this season and fell to 2-4 in seven outings since his nine-game win streak to start the year. The righthander allowed five runs - four earned - on eight hits with one walk and four strikeouts in seven innings.

Webb has a 4.64 ERA in his last seven starts after notching a 2.56 mark through his first nine.

"It seems like the big inning has been the problem," Webb said. "If it's one or two, it's not as big of a deal. But four or five runs in one inning is a bad inning. I need to cut down and try to minimize the damage."

Arizona's only other offensive threat came in the fifth inning with two on and no outs, but Stephen Drew was picked off second base by Mauer on a failed bunt attempt by Orlando Hudson, who then grounded into a double play to end the frame.

"That's part of the little things that have really been costing us," Diamondbacks manager Doug Melvin said. "And we have to be able to add on. When we get a lead like that, they come back, you have to go back out there, show some resolve and get some good swings ... and we didn't the rest of the game."

Jackson extended his hitting streak to eight games with a 3-for-4 afternoon, while Snyder and Reynolds both had two-hit outings for the slumping Diamondbacks. Arizona still leads the National League West despite losing 17 of its last 23 road games dating to May 9 and winning just 10 of its last 30 games overall.



"I can't call it right now, I don't know what to tell you," Snyder said. "It's frustrating. I wish I could give you more than that, but right now I'm scratching my head."

Hernandez became the sixth consecutive Twins starter to earn a win as Minnesota (40-36) moved within two games of the AL Central Division-leading Chicago White Sox (41-33), who play later Sunday night.

The Twins have now won six in a row for the first time since an eight-game winning streak in July 2006. Minnesota has won eight of its last nine overall.








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

    BATTERIES: ARI - BRANDON WEBB, DOUG SLATEN (8TH), JUAN CRUZ (8TH) AND CHRIS
    SNYDER
    MIN - LIVAN HERNANDEZ, JESSE CRAIN (8TH), JOE NATHAN
    (9TH) AND JOE MAUER

    HOME RUNS: ARI -

    Jun 22 4:42 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED ALEXI CASILLA.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, 0 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 3
    MINNESOTA 5 END BOTTOM, 5TH

    Diamondbacks 3, Twins 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 22 3:40 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEXI CASILLA SCORED BRIAN BUSCHER AND BRENDAN
    HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, A CASILLA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 3
    MINNESOTA 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.333, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Diamondbacks 3, Twins 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 22 3:35 PM
  • 21
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 21 roots

    Diamondbacks 3, Twins 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 22 3:35 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRIAN BUSCHER SCORED JASON KUBEL AND DELMON
    YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B BUSCHER ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 3
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B HARRIS (.247, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks 3, Twins 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 22 3:31 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY LIVAN HERNANDEZ ALLOWED CHRIS SNYDER TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 3
    MINNESOTA 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: J UPTON (.242, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks 3, Twins 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJun 22 3:09 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHRIS SNYDER SCORED CONOR JACKSON. ERROR BY
    DELMON YOUNG ALLOWED MARK REYNOLDS TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C SNYDER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 2
    MINNESOTA 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: J UPTON (.242, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks 2, Twins 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJun 22 3:08 PM