Twins happy to take throwaway victory over Yankees in 11 innings

  • Article by: LA VELLE E. NEAL III , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 6, 2014 - 8:32 AM

Celebration, relief come after the Yankees misfired on a double-play toss.

It should have been a 1-2-3 double play. That’s what a 27-foot dribbler in front of home plate with the bases loaded is supposed to turn into.

In the 11th inning Saturday, it was the defining moment of the Twins’ wacky 2-1 walk-off victory over the Yankees.

Trevor Plouffe took a mighty swing at Matt Thornton’s fastball but connected only enough to send it meekly toward the mound. Thornton gathered the ball and flipped to Francisco Cervelli at home to force Chris Colabello. Cervelli then turned to throw to first to get Plouffe. That should have ended the inning.

Instead, Cervelli fired the ball high and well wide of first base and down the foul line. Josh Willingham came around to score the winning run as the Twins spilled out of the dugout to celebrate their fifth walk-off victory of the season. It was also their second walk-off victory on an opposing pitcher’s error; they beat Texas 4-3 on May 27 when Joakim Soria couldn’t cleanly field Danny Santana’s two-out, bases-loaded dribbler.

“I’ve seen crazy plays to end games,” Colabello said. “Not exactly that one. That’s why you play the game hard, run balls out. You never know what happens.”

Colabello batted for Chris Parmelee to start the 11th. He is not one of those players who goes into the cages during games and takes swings to try to stay sharp. He likes to stay loose and relaxed because, “If you’re needed to pinch hit late it’s usually in a big situation,” he said.

Colabello looked comfortable as he stroked an opposite-field double that might have been 6 inches from clearing the right field wall. He advanced to third on Kendrys Morales’ grounder, forcing the Yankees to intentionally walk Willingham, who hit a tying homer in the seventh. That set up a lefty-vs.-lefty matchup of Thornton and Oswaldo Arcia, but the first pitch nailed Arcia in the back, loading the bases.

Then came Plouffe’s hack against Thornton’s 94-miles-per-hour fastball.

For a team that had lost 10 of its previous 12 games, the Twins were willing to take anything. It was their fourth extra-inning victory of the season, and it came in a game that appeared destined to be another tough loss.

“We had a lot of opportunities,” Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said.

The Twins shot themselves in the foot so much Saturday they were running out of toes. The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the fifth when they shouldn’t have.

Ichiro Suzuki reached in a fielder’s choice and stole second. Replays showed that he was out, but the Twins didn’t challenge the decision.

“There was no reaction by Dozier,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who was ejected in the third inning for arguing that Yankees starter David Phelps balked on a pickoff attempt when no balk was called. “The boys in the dugout all said the same thing — they had no clue.”

Suzuki advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored on Cervelli’s single to left.

There was more. Dozier led off the eighth with a bloop single to left. The ball rolled away from Alfonso Soriano, but Dozier dithered when he could have raced an extra base. That ended up being a big decision, too: Kurt Suzuki followed with a single to center that might have scored Dozier from second. Instead, the threat ended there, as Parmelee popped out to center and Morales and Willingham struck out.

Then Sam Fuld led off the 10th with a single but tried to steal second as Thornton’s pickoff move had him fooled. Fuld was thrown out.

This one was low on style points, but Yohan Pino held the Yankees to one run over six innings and the bullpen threw five scoreless innings, running its streak to 14⅔. Enough for the Twins to take advantage of a blunder at the end.

“We needed that,” Gardenhire said. “It was big for us. We’ve lost some tough ones, and that was a good one to win.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 27 2nd Qtr 9:41
New Orleans 34
Minnesota 19 2nd Qtr 10:16
Oklahoma City 31
Orlando 31 2nd Qtr 10:28
Memphis 38
Boston 8:00 PM
Utah
Denver 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Army 49 2nd Half 8:15
American Univ 52
Wright State 54 2nd Half 8:20
Detroit 40
Syracuse 66 2nd Half 5:30
North Carolina 70
Cleveland State 49 2nd Half 3:16
Oakland 53
Delaware State 43 2nd Half 6:32
NC Central 44
High Point 54 2nd Half 4:20
Presbyterian 48
Howard 25 2nd Half
Bethune-Cookman 27
Coppin State 23 1st Half 7:00
NC A&T 32
Nicholls 31 2nd Half 16:02
Northwestern St 47
Hampton 27 2nd Half 19:44
SC State 31
Gardner-Webb 23 1st Half 3:58
Campbell 28
MD-Eastern Shore 4 1st Half 14:30
Florida A&M 8
Stephen F Austin 21 1st Half 7:38
Lamar 10
Central Arkansas 24 1st Half 6:35
New Orleans 38
Norfolk State 25 1st Half 4:52
Savannah State 17
TX A&M-CC 14 1st Half 4:30
SE Louisiana 20
Sam Houston St 29 1st Half 8:27
Abilene Christian 13
McNeese State 37 1st Half 3:50
Incarnate Word 27
Milwaukee 12 1st Half 3:22
Valparaiso 34
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Alabama A&M
Southern U 7:30 PM
Alabama State
Prairie View 8:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Texas 8:00 PM
Iowa State
Texas Southern 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 44 2nd Half 9:01
(1) South Carolina 60
Robert Morris 65 2nd Half 2:27
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 68 2nd Half 3:49
Mercer 62
Wofford 54 2nd Half 3:20
Furman 48
Morehead St 61 2nd Half 2:55
Tenn Tech 48
Illinois 53 2nd Half 4:09
Michigan 63
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 8:00 PM
Auburn
(15) Nebraska 8:00 PM
(20) Iowa

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close