Rally falls short; Twins streak ends at 3

The Diamondbacks scored seven runs over the seventh and eighth innings, before the Twins' comeback ended in the ninth.

view larger photos


PHOENIX - With winning streaks come confidence, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has noticed his team coming around after it won three consecutive games heading into the series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night.

The Twins still have some rough edges -- especially on defense -- but the manager has seen progress.

"Gotta get the players believing in themselves that we can get it done,'' he said, "and, over the last thee games, they feel pretty good about themselves.''

But then one of the rough edges popped up on the Twins on Friday in a 8-7 loss to Arizona. Minnesota gave up seven runs over the seventh and eighth innings, and that enabled the Diamondbacks to end the Twins' three-game winning streak.

The seventh inning was the game-changer for the Twins.

Starter Brian Duensing entered the inning with a 2-1 lead. He promptly gave up a home run, a double, a single and an RBI base hit before being replaced. In came Glen Perkins, who inherited runners at first and second. Kelly Johnson bunted into a force out at third, but Ian Kennedy bunted the runners to second and third. The Twins then intentionally walked Willie Bloomquist to load the bases and create a force play.

That backfired when Ryan Roberts laced a breaking pitch to left-center for a double that cleared the bases for a 6-2 Arizona lead.

"I think our offense is starting to click,'' said Duensing, who gave up five runs and seven hits over six-plus innings. "And it's going to be up to us pitchers to keep things in check."

Jason Kubel's two-run triple to deep center got the Twins within 6-4, but Arizona scored twice off righthander Kevin Slowey.

Gardenhire was disappointed in Slowey's pitching.

"We made some real silly pitches,'' he said. "Bases open, we had a chance to pitch around people and get them to chase and we're lobbing curveballs in there, and it kind of snowballed on us."

Slowey's bad outing was crushing, because the Twins fought back with three runs in the ninth on a solo home run by Danny Valencia, RBI double by Drew Butera and bases-loaded walk to Trevor Plouffe. Arizona brought in sidearming lefty Joe Paterson, who struck out Kubel looking and got Justin Morneau to ground out to end the game.

"It still wasn't a win, but it was a good sign for us,'' Kubel said. "Guys beared down at the end, except for me."

The day began on a somber note, as the organization gathered Friday for the trip to Peoria, Ariz., and Harmon Killebrew's funeral. It's been a long couple of weeks for the team, and Twins fans, since Killebrew announced the end of his battle with cancer on May 12, died on Tuesday and was given funeral services on Friday. The Twins have a memorial service scheduled for Thursday at Target Field.

But Gardenhire sounded like a proud papa as he spoke about how his team has handled the situation. Several players have been eloquent while talking about what Killebrew means to them.

"My players have handled this very, very well, the whole situation,'' he said. "There have been a lot of questions and a lot of talk, and I think the players have stood up and have been very accountable about answering questions and talking about Harmon.''

Twins fans in town for the series brought posters honoring Killebrew. The Diamondbacks stepped up as well. They had Killebrew's family at the game and played a video tribute before the third inning -- of course.

The family watched the Twins get solo home runs from Michael Cuddyer in the second and Plouffe in the sixth.

Then came Arizona's fireworks, which the Twins couldn't completely answer.

  • related content

  • Pitchers take note of basepaths

    Friday May 20, 2011

    The interleague portion of the schedule has arrived, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has made his annual request to pitchers who suddenly have a bat in their hands.

  • Twins-Arizona game recap

    Saturday May 21, 2011

    His three-run double in the seventh inning was the biggest hit of the game.

  • Killebrew touches them all at funeral

    Saturday May 21, 2011

    The stories at Harmon Killebrew's funeral had a theme: He touched many lives with his kindness.

  • Trevor Plouffe (left), Willie Bloomquist

  • INTERLEAGUE PLAY ARIZONA 8, TWINS 7 Up next: 9:10 tonight at Arizona TV: FSN (1500ESPN)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)


San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
UCF 6:00 PM
Arizona 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Is Paul Molitor the best choice to manage Twins?

Weekly Question