Mauer catches a ride as Twins win again

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 18, 2011 - 8:07 AM

He wasted no time fueling the team's surge, delivering an RBI single in his first at-bat after a two-month absence, and other returnees chipped in as well.

view larger photos


Joe Mauer didn't want to be a distraction. With the Twins finally winning again, he just wanted to be a part of it.

On Friday night, in his first game since April 12, that exactly what Mauer was -- a part of it.

Several Twins did what they have been doing throughout their recent surge, as Mauer, Danny Valencia and Glen Perkins made their first big contributions in a while.

The Twins grabbed a five-run first inning lead and held on through some tense late moments for a 6-5 interleague victory over the Padres at Target Field.

"I was so excited to get out there with my teammates and get a win," said Mauer, who went 1-for-4 as the Twins improved to 12-2 in their past 14 games.

At 29-39, they are within 10 games of .500 for the first time since May 10 and eight games out of first place for the first time since April 29.

A sellout crowd gave Mauer a standing ovation before his first at-bat, and the three-time batting champion delivered a run-scoring single up the middle.

"I was trying to concentrate so hard on the at-bat, but [the ovation] meant a lot," Mauer said. "I put in a lot of hard work to get back here and to be able to get that support, it was awesome."

Michael Cuddyer followed with a run-scoring double -- his 10th RBI in the past seven games -- and Valencia smashed a three-run homer off Padres lefthander Clayton Richard.

Valencia was batting .152 in June and hadn't homered since May 21.

"It's been awhile," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He clicked on one. He needs to get going. We've all seen the struggles. He picks up a few hits here and there, but driving in runs is what it's all about. He did that last year for us; we're going to need that as we go along."

The Twins still led 6-2 in the seventh inning, when Alex Burnett replaced starting pitcher Brian Duensing.

Burnett recorded two quick outs before giving up two singles. Then Ryan Ludwick drilled a three-run homer, trimming Minnesota's lead to one.

Perkins entered in the eighth for his first appearance since he strained an oblique muscle four weeks ago. The Padres put a runner on second base with one out, but Perkins blew fastballs by Nick Hundley and Alberto Gonzalez, ending that threat.

"It was like I never left," said Perkins, who lowered his ERA to 1.52. "No, it was good to get back in there and get thrown into the fire. I like that. And I had felt good, so there's no reason I felt like I wouldn't be successful."

Matt Capps pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 10th save in 15 chances and second in as many days.

Mauer's return was the big story, but the Twins didn't change their recent style. Ben Revere and Alexi Casilla reached to put runners on first and second for Mauer's first at-bat, and Revere didn't hesitate trying to steal third base.

He would have been safe, but he overslid the bag.

"Gardy didn't mind it," Revere said. "One of those freak accidents. He just said to slow down when I get to the bag. I said, 'All right, I don't know if I can.' "

Mauer didn't mind Revere taking the chance.

"It was nice to see," Mauer said. "Benny can do a lot of things. We've got Lexi playing well. He had some great at-bats in front of me and allowed me to have some opportunities. I think it's pretty fun to watch them run around a little bit."

And after missing 57 games, Mauer enjoys watching it even more from the batter's box.

  • related content

  • Reusse: Fans soon forget Mauer's agonizing absence

    Saturday June 18, 2011

    Joe Mauer disappeared from the Twins lineup on the afternoon of April 13 and missed 57 games because of the sorriest explanations of his injuries imaginable.

  • Thome next in line for activation

    Saturday June 18, 2011

    Jim Thome appears to be ahead of outfielders Jason Kubel and Denard Span.

  • A jolt of Joe

    Friday June 17, 2011

    • The crowd reaction: The reports of a strong booing contingent were greatly exaggerated. Fans overwhelmingly cheered his first at-bat.

  • Recap: Twins 6, San Diego 5

    Friday June 17, 2011

    The third baseman's three-run homer stretched the lead to 5-0 in the first inning.

  • Joe Mauer


    Up next: 6:10 p.m. today vs. San Diego • Target Field • TV: FSN (1500ESPN)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Atlanta 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Houston 6
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Miami 1
Baltimore 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs 6 FINAL
San Francisco 8
Los Angeles 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
San Diego 4 FINAL
Seattle 9
Cleveland 9 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Milwaukee 2 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Texas 4 FINAL
Kansas City 5
Colorado 3 FINAL
Arizona 4
NY Mets 4 Bottom 6th Inning
Washington 3
Boston 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Minnesota 0
Toronto 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Baltimore 0
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Dallas 9:30 PM
Calgary 0 1st Prd 9:35
Boston 1
St. Louis 0 1st Prd 8:16
Philadelphia 0
Minnesota 0 1st Prd 11:58
Washington 1
Toronto 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Dallas 6:30 PM
NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Montreal 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Morgan State 76 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 89
Niagara 54 FINAL
Siena 71
Holy Cross 13 1st Half 12:24
Bucknell 12
Western Ky 15 1st Half 10:30
Charlotte 20
Navy 9 1st Half 12:38
Colgate 10
Temple 0 1st Half 19:38
East Carolina 0
UAB 17 1st Half 10:15
Fla Atlantic 12
Boston Univ 10 1st Half 13:39
Lafayette 4
American Univ 10 1st Half 11:50
Lehigh 11
Wisconsin 32 1st Half 7:36
Minnesota 17
Fairfield 5 1st Half 11:04
Saint Peters 4
Arkansas 31 1st Half 9:02
South Carolina 17
Morehead State 29 1st Half 6:57
UT Martin 20
USC Upstate 13 1st Half 11:11
Fla Gulf Coast 7
Lipscomb 15 1st Half 11:24
North Florida 17
Southern Ill 11 1st Half 11:20
Missouri State 10
Texas State 6:30 PM
Appalachian St
SC State 6:30 PM
Delaware State 6:30 PM
Coppin State
Middle Tennessee 6:30 PM
Texas-Arlington 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Norfolk State 6:30 PM
NC A&T 6:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 7:00 PM
Florida A&M
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Georgia State 7:00 PM
Marshall 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Rice 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ark-Little Rock 7:15 PM
South Alabama 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Grambling St
Alabama A&M 7:30 PM
Jackson State
Sam Houston St 7:30 PM
Central Arkansas 7:30 PM
Portland State 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Southern U 7:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
Houston Baptist 7:30 PM
SE Louisiana 7:45 PM
New Orleans
California 8:00 PM
Eastern Ill 8:00 PM
Memphis 8:00 PM
VA Commonwealth 8:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Marist 8:00 PM
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Northwestern St 8:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
North Texas 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 8:00 PM
Idaho 8:00 PM
Weber State
Abilene Christian 8:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Eastern Wash 8:05 PM
Idaho State
Bradley 8:35 PM
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Long Beach State
UC Riverside 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Stanford 10:00 PM
Arizona State
Utah 10:00 PM
Washington St
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 85 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 79
Saint Louis 65 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 58
Saint Peters 62 FINAL
Rider 54
UNC-Asheville 51 FINAL
Liberty 59
UNC Greensboro 44 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 78
Michigan State 69 FINAL
Michigan 49
Arkansas 72 FINAL
Ole Miss 61
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Niagara 57
Massachusetts 63 FINAL
Richmond 67
Virginia 52 FINAL
Miami-Florida 62
Jacksonville St 45 FINAL
Belmont 55
Morgan State 65 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 50
Campbell 65 FINAL
Winthrop 52
Furman 65 FINAL
Samford 54
Oregon 64 FINAL
Washington St 66
Indiana 52 FINAL
(23) Rutgers 63
Pepperdine 67 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 68
Auburn 47 FINAL
(18) Texas A&M 57
Morehead St 66 FINAL
Tennessee St 81
George Mason 43 FINAL
Saint Josephs 71
Western Carolina 53 FINAL
East Tenn St 73
Arizona 62 FINAL
Texas State 55 FINAL
Appalachian St 61
TX-Arlington 66 FINAL
Georgia Southern 41
Norfolk State 49 FINAL
Hampton 64
NC Central 46
SC State 48 2nd Half 3:43
Bethune-Cookman 50
Delaware State 51 2nd Half 0:31
Coppin State 80
Portland 56 2nd Half 0:16
Santa Clara 64
Savannah State 49 2nd Half 17:00
Florida A&M 29
Virginia Tech 27 2nd Half 15:54
Pittsburgh 22
Central Arkansas 37 2nd Half 8:08
Nicholls 43
Houston Baptist 41 2nd Half 11:53
TX A&M-CC 51
Gardner-Webb 47 2nd Half 11:57
Radford 29
Georgia 38 2nd Half 15:31
Missouri 31
Old Dominion 48 2nd Half 10:40
Marshall 39
Ark-Little Rock 46 2nd Half 14:47
Louisiana 28
South Alabama 44 2nd Half 13:42
Arkansas State 54
Georgia State 39 2nd Half 16:04
ULM 36
Sam Houston St 29 2nd Half
Lamar 39
SE Louisiana 36 2nd Half
New Orleans 39
Northwestern St 22 2nd Half
Stephen F Austin 18
Alabama A&M 31 2nd Half
Jackson State 27
Alabama State 21 1st Half 3:54
Grambling 24
Southern U 34 2nd Half
Prairie View 19
Alcorn State 24 2nd Half
Texas Southern 40
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Wofford 22 2nd Half
Mercer 31
Abilene Christian 20 1st Half 7:37
Incarnate Word 14
La Salle 17 1st Half 9:37
Rhode Island 12
Illinois 15 1st Half 11:43
Nebraska 20
TX-San Antonio 6 1st Half 13:55
Rice 10
Valparaiso 7 1st Half 11:56
Oakland 8
Missouri State 13 1st Half 11:00
Indiana State 14
Georgia Tech 7:00 PM
(15) North Carolina
Presbyterian 7:00 PM
High Point
Charlotte 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Florida Atlantic 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
North Texas
Wichita State 7:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Bradley 7:05 PM
Vanderbilt 7:30 PM
(12) Kentucky
Colorado 8:00 PM
San Francisco 8:00 PM
FIU 8:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
Weber State 8:00 PM
Purdue 8:25 PM
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach St 9:00 PM
Hawaii 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Northern Ariz 9:00 PM
Portland State
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Utah 10:30 PM
BYU 10:30 PM
St Marys-CA
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question