Andrew Zimmern spends his life riding a canoe into caves in Bora Bora in order to snare bats, so that he can enjoy dining on them after they have been sauteed in cricket juice.

Obviously, the man has a cast-iron stomach, yet as a Twins fan, not even he could withstand the nausea of watching the home team's bullpen light up the Teflon sky late Saturday afternoon.

Zimmern was among the thousands headed for the exits after Dennys Reyes and Matt Guerrier served up two-run bombs in the eighth inning that rallied the Tigers to a 6-4 victory.

Zimmern used the excuse that his young son had lasted longer than ever before lobbying to leave, but we know the truth, Andy:

Eating giant rats off a spit in Bangladesh is one thing, but watching the Twins bullpen try to hold a late-inning lead is downright disgusting.

A husky middle-age fellow was reaching the Metrodome's revolving doors at the same time as Zimmern. His mother was in front, wearing her white Twins jersey, and his sons were trailing in their blue Twins jerseys.

"It just makes me mad," the man said. "Just like that, those guys come in and ruin a great game by Baker."

He was right on two fronts: A) There was moisture accompanying his words, making him officially spitting mad; and B) starter Scott Baker had pitched nobly, limiting the Tigers to four hits and holding a 4-2 lead into the eighth.

The Twins bullpen had lost eight games from Aug. 4 through Wednesday in which they either held substantial leads or led into the eighth or ninth innings.

All of the losses came during two road trips in which the Twins went 8-12. There were also a couple of blown leads at home, but the Twins then rallied to win those games.

Not on Saturday.

The Twins loaded the bases in the ninth before Fernando Rodney struck out Joe Mauer on a 95-mile-per-hour fastball under the hands, and Justin Morneau ended the game with a line drive to second base.

So, there you have it. The anarchists might have left St. Paul, but our favorite arsonists now have taken up residence in downtown Minneapolis.

Manager Ron Gardenhire's relievers spent the final 12 games of the recent road trip either creating fires or pouring fuel on them in Anaheim, Seattle, Oakland and Toronto.

And on Saturday, they ignited a four-alarm blaze in front of a huge crowd announced at 42,606. The fans were attracted partially by the giveaway of a Rick Aguilera bobblehead.

In a strange twist on the day the Twins' most proficient closer was being honored in ceramic, there were real-life examples of bobbleheads from hometown relievers.

Reyes and Guerrier both twisted their necks to confirm the bolts by Curtis Granderson and Magglio Ordonez were going to carry beyond the Dome's playing perimeters.

Two years ago, the Twins ran down the Tigers to win the AL Central on the season's last day, and they did so mainly because a lead after six innings was as safe as a babe in a mother's arms.

Not this season. For instance: The Twins are 11-6 against Detroit, and four of the Tigers' victories came with eighth-inning comebacks.

Gardenhire had no regrets about bringing in Reyes to face Granderson -- only the result.

"The matchup was good," he said. "He was 0-for-7 against Dennys with four punch-outs. But he hung a slider."

The hanger was Reyes' third pitch. The big crowd responded with a robust "boo" as Gardenhire went to get his lefty.

Guerrier entered, allowed a single to Placido Polanco and then Ordonez took him well back in left. The boos were much louder this time.

Asked if there was anything to be done other than continue to "mix his relievers" trying to hold late leads, Gardenhire said:

"We've mixed everybody up. We've tried everything. These are the guys we got, and they have to get the job done. They have to get the ball to Joe."

That's Joe Nathan, and even with his issues lately, getting the ball to the closer in the ninth is the Twins' only chance to run down the White Sox over the 20 remaining games.

Patrick Reusse can be heard weekdays on AM-1500 KSTP at 6:45 and 7:45 a.m. and at 4:40 p.m. •