NEW YORK – Nothing worked for the Twins on Saturday night.
Ervin Santana carried a lead into the late innings but didn’t come away with a decision.
Byron Buxton hit a clutch home run in extra innings — only to be outclutched by Curtis Granderson.
Brandon Kintzler couldn’t convert a save situation like he has for most of the season.
And Ryan O’Rourke, given a favorable matchup, surrendered the deciding run.
It was one gut-wrenching night in Queens for the Twins, who suffered a 3-2 loss in 12 innings to the Mets on Granderson’s walk-off homer off O’Rourke. Granderson hit two home runs in extra innings, causing the Twins to leave Citi Field bitter after their 94th loss of the season.
It all transpired after Santana exited after the seventh inning with a 1-0 lead — only to see the Twins use seven relievers after that. Santana might have been able to pitch the eighth but used 25 pitches in the seventh inning, putting his total at 104 for the game.
Given the time of season, Twins manager Paul Molitor decided to go to the bullpen. One inning later, the score was tied and Santana had his third consecutive no-decision.
“It’s tough,” Buxton said. “[Santana] pitched an excellent game. And just to come up short like that we did, it hurts. You go out there and play hard and things don’t go our way, [but] stuff like that happens.”
And the Twins might lose Eddie Rosario for a few games after he bruised his thumb while diving into first in the 10th inning. The thumb was swollen after the game, but Rosario said he didn’t think it was broken.
Yoenis Cespedes hit an RBI single off Ryan Pressly in the eighth to tie the score 1-1. Pressly threw a slider that was off the plate, but Cespedes got enough of it to serve it to center.
Buxton appeared to come through with one of his biggest moments when he turned on a 96-miles-per-hour fastball from Hansel Robles in the 11th and hit it out to left for his seventh home run of the season. The Twins led 2-1 and had Kintzler warming in the bullpen.
“I just put a good swing on the ball and it carried out,” Buxton said.
Mets fans were streaming for the exits when Granderson hit Kintzler’s 0-1 pitch just over the wall in left to tie the score. Kintzler needed to strike out Jose Reyes with the bases loaded to get out of the inning. It was Kintzler’s third blown save in 17 appearances.
Molitor had to use Michael Tonkin for the fourth time in six games to get the first two outs of the 12th. Granderson was back up, and Molitor examined the situation.
Granderson was batting .213 against lefthanded pitchers. Lefthanded hitters were 0-for-18 against O’Rourke since he was called up on Aug. 13.
O’Rourke got the count to 2-2 but missed with a fastball. With the count full, O’Rourke went with his trusty slider.
Granderson connected and sent the ball over the wall in right for the third walk-off home run of his career. O’Rourke squatted on the mound in disbelief.
“I threw my best,” O’Rourke said, “and he beat me.”
It was a bad beat for the Twins.
“You look for the ability to win those close games when you take leads, and we gave up one run in the eighth and Granderson just had a big night,” Molitor said.
“It’s tough. Those guys battled. The offense hasn’t been there the last couple of nights when we have pitched well enough to win.’’