Twins win on a walk-off bobble

Creative baserunning, botched grounder in ninth cap Twins’ rally.

If the Twins felt they needed to get some breaks to end their losing streak, they got them with two outs in the ninth inning Tuesday night at Target Field.

Like when Eduardo Nunez swerved around Adrian Beltre as he fielded a grounder and slid safely into third without being called for running out of the baseline.

Like when Danny Santana hit a dribbler in front of the mound, and Rangers reliever Joakim Soria forgot all the fielding practice he did in spring training and bobbled the ball. That allowed Nunez to score from third and allowed the Twins to storm the field and celebrate a 4-3 walk-off victory on Soria’s bobble.

A walk-off bobble?

“It was big,” said Nunez, who entered the game in the seventh as a pinch hitter for Chris Parmelee. “We have a lot of confidence [now]. We know it is a tough team, and we know we have to keep battling.”

They did, ending their four-game losing streak. Soria, who was 8-for-8 in save situations coming into the game, took the loss.

Twins righthander Phil Hughes was sharp most of the night and ran his streak to 175 batters faced without giving up a walk.

But he left the game after seven innings trailing 3-2. Former Twins righthander Scott Baker was tabbed, on three days’ rest, to fill in for Yu Darvish, who was scratched because of a sore neck. And Baker was just a little better than Hughes, holding the Twins to two runs over six innings.

The Twins, however, waited until the ninth to rally.

Oswaldo Arcia blasted a double high off the wall in right-center with one out. After Josh Willingham struck out, Nunez singled to right to score Arcia with the tying run and went to second on the throw home.

Kurt Suzuki tapped to third baseman Beltre, and it appeared the game was headed to the 10th inning. But Nunez ran around Beltre as he started to field the ball. Instead of throwing to first, Beltre tried to get Nunez as he slid into third.

“I wasn’t expecting him to tag me,” Nunez said. “I was expecting him to throw to first base.”

Rangers manager Ron Washington ran out to argue that Nunez ran out of the baseline.

Crew chief Jerry Layne said that since Nunez went around Beltre to allow him to field the ball — and not avoid a tag — it was not a baseline violation.

“That’s the key, to avoid being tagged,” Layne said. “[Nunez] has to yield [Beltre] a chance to field the ball. [Nunez] goes around [Beltre] in an attempt to allow him to field the ball. There was never an attempt to make a tag. If [Beltre] would have stuck his glove out to try to make an attempt, we have a different play.”

As Eduardo Escobar batted, Suzuki advanced to second on indifference. Escobar was walked intentionally to load the bases for Santana.

Santana dribbled one in front of Soria, and again the game appeared headed to the 10th. Then came the bobble, and a Twins win.

“You gotta hang in there,” Gardenhire said, “and we did that tonight and we end up getting a chance to win a ballgame and getting a chance to put the ball in play and you end up getting a win.”

  • related content

  • Twins 4, Texas 3

    Up next: 7:10 p.m. today vs. Texas • Target Field • TV: FSN (96.3-FM)

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 102 FINAL
New York 91
Oklahoma City 114 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Cleveland 91 FINAL
Miami 101
LA Lakers 93 FINAL
Chicago 113
Golden State 86 FINAL
LA Clippers 100
DePaul 69 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 72
Ohio 58 FINAL
Nebraska 71
Colorado 66 FINAL
Hawaii 69
George Washington 60 FINAL
Wichita State 54
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins' offseason moves so far?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close