Twins comeback falls short

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 6, 2012 - 2:21 PM

For the second game in a row, the Twins rallied in the ninth, but unlike Saturday, this one ended too early.

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Boston's Carl Crawford catches a ball hit by Minnesota's Ryan Doumit in the second inning Sunday.

Photo: Steven Senne, Associated Press

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BOSTON - There was something futile about the Twins' ninth-inning rally Sunday. And something symbolic, too.

The Red Sox had done enough damage against Nick Blackburn and company to put the game mostly out of reach, but Josh Willingham smashed his 28th homer, and Ryan Doumit added a two-run shot, forcing Bobby Valentine to make another pitching change.

Boos rang down on the beleaguered manager at Fenway Park, as he summoned closer Alfredo Aceves. After blowing leads the previous two nights against Minnesota, could the Red Sox possibly do it again?

No, Aceves got three quick outs to preserve a 6-4 victory, keeping the Twins from completing their first four-game sweep in Boston since 1991.

The Twins had to settle for what they did accomplish, winning three games in the same series at Fenway Park for the first time since 1994.

"And the fact we didn't just lay over and die," Blackburn said. "We kept fighting, and I thought we had a decent chance there in the ninth. It's exciting to see. Obviously it's very late in the season, but we're not just laying down and shutting it off, which is good to see."

The Twins are 7-3 in their past 10 games, and the three losses have been by a combined four runs. Their starting pitchers have gone 4-2 with a 2.58 ERA in that span, holding opponents to a .222 batting average.

Those numbers were even better before Sunday, when Blackburn gave up four earned runs on nine hits over five innings.

"Blackie actually threw the ball pretty well there," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He threw a lot of pitches -- 90 in five innings -- and made one big mistake, the two-run homer [by Adrian Gonzalez in the fifth inning]. It looked like the ball was down and the guy just lifted it, which he can do on anybody."

Blackburn (4-7), who had better results in two of his previous three starts, wasn't discouraged.

"I wouldn't say today was a step back by any means," he said.

"I had location. I threw a lot of pitches I was very pleased with. There's going to be games where you go out and one pitch beats you, and today was one of those days."

Red Sox lefthander Franklin Morales (3-2) was making a spot start in place of injured Josh Beckett and held the Twins to one run on three hits over six innings.

The Twins trailed 6-1 entering the ninth before making Boston sweat. Willingham and Doumit connected against Vicente Padilla, and Aceves had to redeem himself after serving up Joe Mauer's three-run, lead-changing homer one night earlier.

"Coming in and taking three of four from a team like the Red Sox, we feel good about this series," Doumit said. "I'll take three of four every time."

  • BOSTON 6, TWINS 4

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Final123456789RHE
Detroit2200000004110
Minnesota «30000302X8130
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:K.Gibson(12-11) L:D.Price(14-12)
HR: DET- None MIN- None

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Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston - LP: B. Workman 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: G. Cole 3
Toronto - LP: A. Sanchez 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 3
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 2
Los Angeles - WP: P. Rodriguez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: N. Ramirez 4
Cleveland 1 Bottom 12th Inning
Houston 1
Milwaukee 2 Bottom 12th Inning
St. Louis 2
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 6 FINAL
Colorado - WP: L. Hawkins 7
Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 3 FINAL
San Diego - WP: R. Erlin 7
Seattle 0 Bottom 7th Inning
LA Angels 0
Tampa Bay 14 FINAL
Atlanta 56
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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