Valencia base hit atones for mistake

The third baseman made a baserunning error, but all was well after his 10th-inning single.

view larger photos


Twins third baseman Danny Valencia fell behind 0-2 in the 10th inning to Royals righthander Robinson Tejeda. Two pitches later, Tejeda threw him a fastball up and away.

"He was doing me a favor at that point," Valencia said. "I was real defensive."

Valencia went with the pitch and lined a single to right. Jason Repko scored from third. The Twins won 4-3 and Valencia went home thinking he had atoned for a mistake in the ninth inning that might have made the game go on longer than it should have.

Valencia led off the ninth with a walk. After Luke Hughes struck out on a 96 mile-per-hour fastball from Royals righthander Aaron Crow, Jim Thome pinch hit for Alexi Casilla and lefty Tim Collins came in for Crow.

Thome hit a soft liner to right-center for a single. Valencia dithered at first as he made sure the ball got through. Jeff Francoeur has a terrific arm in right, so it would have been close if Valencia had taken off at the crack of the bat and tried for third.

Valencia pulled into second. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire pulled what remains of his hair.

"He needed to get to third base on that play and he knows that," Gardenhire said. "He came to me and asked and I told him, 'You have to be there. We needed you to take a chance.'"

Valencia was thrown out between first and second on Sunday against Oakland, so he's been in a baserunning rut.

"I've been messing up on the basepaths a little too much and I need to clean that up," Valencia said. "It's a tough read but in that situation I probably should have been a little more aggressive."

Denard Span followed with a flyout to medium-deep center field. Had Valencia been on third, he could have scored.

Baserunning was an issue in the 10th before Valencia batted, when Delmon Young singled and was replaced by pinch runner Repko. Michael Cuddyer, who had four singles Tuesday, walked. Jason Kubel clobbered a Tejeda pitch to right-center.

"I thought it was going to be in the upper deck," Valencia said.

Kubel even pumped his fist as he ran to first base. But the ball missed the stands, missed the wall and popped in and out of Francoeur's glove. Repko, halfway between second and third, had started to go back to second when he saw that the ball was dropped, so he couldn't have tried to round third and score.

It eventually worked out, when Valencia gave the Twins their first walk-off victory of the year. All four wins have been by one run.

An announced crowd of 38,154 was the third non-sellout in Target Field history, ending a streak of 81 consecutive sellouts.

The game was messy in other areas, too. Starter Brian Duensing threw wildly to first on a bunt play, the first error of his major league career, allowing runners to advance to second and third in the seventh inning. Melky Cabrera's infield single off Duensing's shin allowed the Royals to tie the score at 3-3.

That was Duensing's last batter. Jose Mijares and Matt Capps worked out of the jam, and Capps, Joe Nathan and Dusty Hughes pitched perfect relief from there. One fastball by Nathan hit 93 on the stadium radar gun, his best since his return from Tommy John surgery.

Eventually, Valencia got a chance to redeem himself and took advantage of it.

"He came back and got a big hit there at the end," Gardenhire said of Valencia, "which is huge."

  • related content

  • Reusse: Twins have to work hard to overcome their cold bats

    Wednesday April 13, 2011

    You wouldn't have given a whole lot for Danny Valencia's chances in the 10th inning on Tuesday night, not after the first two pitches from Kansas City righthander Robinson Tejeda.

  • Wimmers struggles at Fort Myers

    Tuesday April 12, 2011

    Righthander Alex Wimmers, the Twins' first-round pick last year, has been removed from the starting rotation at Class A Fort Myers to work on his mechanics after an awful first...

  • Bonus Reusse: Royals have too much talent not to go far

    Wednesday April 13, 2011

    The future powerhouse of the American League Central was at Target Field, and it wasn't the home team. The Kansas City Royals have a glut of talent on the way...

  • Twins-Kansas City game recap

    Wednesday April 13, 2011

    He was 1-for-3 with two walks and the game-winning RBI.

  • Tweetin' (office) baseball

    Wednesday April 13, 2011

    Can't pay attention to the Twins because of your job? Can't work because of the game? Here's a little help to get through the day.

  • Danny Valencia (center)

  • TWINS 4, KANSAS CITY 3 (10)

    Up next: 12:10 p.m. Wednesday

    Target Field • TV: FSN (1500ESPN)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Milwaukee 115 FINAL
Orlando 100
New York 82 FINAL
Indiana 103
Denver 69 FINAL
Memphis 99
Chicago 118 FINAL
LA Lakers 123
Montreal 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 0
Winnipeg 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Boston 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 3 FINAL
Toronto 1
Dallas 6 FINAL
Ottawa 3
Detroit 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 5
Columbus 2 FINAL
Florida 3
Nashville 4 FINAL(SO)
St. Louis 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Calgary 0
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL
San Jose 6
DePaul 72 FINAL
Providence 83
Michigan State 71 FINAL
Rutgers 51
Boston Univ 67 FINAL
Army 71
Fla Atlantic 61 FINAL
Charlotte 86
Youngstown St 87 FINAL
Detroit 93
East Tenn St 55 FINAL
Furman 59
Saint Louis 60 FINAL
George Mason 68
USC Upstate 78 FINAL
Jacksonville 65
High Point 72 FINAL
Liberty 53
Central Conn St 55 FINAL
Long Island 67
Western Ky 56 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 69
Dayton 64 FINAL
Massachusetts 66
Chattanooga 72 FINAL
Mercer 75
Wofford 58 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 42
Maryland 56 FINAL
Ohio State 80
Old Dominion 71
Fair-Dickinson 65 FINAL
Robert Morris 87
Mount St Marys 67 FINAL
St Francis-NY 73
Bryant 68 FINAL
St Francis-PA 75
Northern Ky 75 FINAL
Stetson 85
Coll of Charleston 70 FINAL
Towson 74
Western Carolina 85 FINAL
Va Military 70
Sacred Heart 64 FINAL
Wagner 75
Lipscomb 62 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 78
Kennesaw St 67 FINAL
North Florida 86
Appalachian St 46 FINAL
Ga Southern 83
Holy Cross 54 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 64
Eastern Ill 51 FINAL
UT Martin 81
Jacksonville St 82 FINAL
Belmont 103
Connecticut 58 FINAL
Cincinnati 70
Rider 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 49
SIU Edwardsville 75 FINAL
SE Missouri St 61
Marshall 69 FINAL
Southern Miss 54
Tenn Tech 56 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Middle Tennessee 58 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 69
Ill-Chicago 65 FINAL
Milwaukee 71
Weber State 67 FINAL
North Dakota 60
Denver 54 FINAL
North Dakota St 61
IUPU-Ft Wayne 66 FINAL
South Dakota 55
Louisiana 85 FINAL
South Alabama 89
Ark-Little Rock 75 FINAL
Arkansas State 65
Georgia State 88 FINAL
Texas-Arlington 74
Troy 55
Portland 46 FINAL
Gonzaga 64
Kentucky 69 FINAL
Missouri 53
Eastern Ky 78 FINAL
Murray State 85
Texas-El Paso 71
Idaho State 76 FINAL
Northern Colorado 79
Grand Canyon 78
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Utah Valley U 78
Colorado 98 FINAL
USC 94
Cal Poly 57 FINAL
UC Irvine 67
Hawaii 84 FINAL
CS-Northridge 73
Pepperdine 50 FINAL
Pacific 43
Santa Clara 64 FINAL
San Diego 69
Utah 59 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 64 FINAL
UC Davis 70
Montana 73 FINAL
Portland State 54
Montana State 59 FINAL
Sacramento St 75
Long Beach State 91 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 85
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
St Marys-CA 68
San Francisco 74 FINAL
BYU 78
California 76 FINAL
Washington St 67
Louisiana 47 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Saint Josephs 51 FINAL
Saint Louis 52
Appalachian St 77 FINAL
Georgia Southern 74
Niagara 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 65
Old Dominion 80 FINAL
FIU 67
Southern Miss 65 FINAL
Marshall 67
Georgia State 45 FINAL
TX-Arlington 57
Ark-Little Rock 69 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
Troy 90
Pittsburgh 45 FINAL
(17) Duke 62
(6) Tennessee 73 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 72
(24) Oklahoma 81 FINAL
(14) Texas 84
Nebraska Omaha 59 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 70
UC-Riverside 68 FINAL
CS-Northridge 56
Army 65 FINAL
Boston U 40
New Orleans 40 FINAL
Nicholls 56
Charlotte 68 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 71
Towson 54 FINAL
Delaware 72
Hofstra 66 FINAL
Northeastern 45
New Hampshire 56 FINAL
Maine 87
Albany 89 FINAL
Vermont 48
Hartford 60 FINAL
Stony Brook 58
UNC-Wilmington 62 FINAL
William & Mary 67
Clemson 62 FINAL
Wake Forest 64
Alabama 54 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 85
(23) Syracuse 58 FINAL
(8) Louisville 78
Missouri 68 FINAL
Florida 52
Iona 66 FINAL
Fairfield 77
Manhattan 38 FINAL
Marist 77
NC State 63 FINAL
Virginia 71
(4) Notre Dame 74 FINAL
Virginia Tech 50
(22) Rutgers 58 FINAL
Purdue 49
(5) Maryland 91 FINAL
Michigan 65
Milwaukee 58 FINAL
Cleveland State 67
Wright State 108 FINAL
Oakland 89
Jacksonville 64 FINAL
USC Upstate 66
North Florida 40 FINAL
Kennesaw St 46
Stetson 62 FINAL
Northern Ky 68
Loyola-Maryland 57 FINAL
Holy Cross 51
Lamar 87 FINAL
Sam Houston St 68
Fla Gulf Coast 71 FINAL
Lipscomb 49
Vanderbilt 44 FINAL
(18) Miss State 69
Western Ill 73
Abilene Christian 53 FINAL
Houston Baptist 50
Incarnate Word 54 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 63
McNeese State 78 FINAL
SE Louisiana 57
Oral Roberts 46 FINAL
South Dakota St 71
Louisiana Tech 66 FINAL
Western Ky 82
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 73
Texas-El Paso 52 FINAL
UAB 67
Auburn 47 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Grand Canyon 65 FINAL
Illinois 57 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 59
(20) Iowa 102 FINAL
Northwestern 99
Utah Valley U 55 FINAL
Chicago State 60
Green Bay 67 FINAL
Valparaiso 52
Ole Miss 41 FINAL
LSU 70
Portland State 31 FINAL
Montana 72
Sacramento St 64 FINAL
Montana State 91
North Dakota 55 FINAL
Weber State 48
Ohio State 85 FINAL
Wisconsin 73
Northern Colorado 61 FINAL
Idaho State 70
San Francisco 63
St Marys-CA 56 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 49
Pacific 63 FINAL
Pepperdine 59
Cal-Irvine 61 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 58
San Diego 64 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
UC Davis 64 FINAL
Cal Poly 72
Long Beach St 64 FINAL
Hawaii 72
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question