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Francisco Liriano started and gave up two runs over the first seven innings. Jose Mijares pitched a scoreless eighth innings. Joe Nathan came on to protect the 3-2 lead, and the Twins win… Wait! I guess it wasn’t quite that simple, was it? Nathan’s first pitch of the ninth inning was deposited over the baggy in right centerfield by Ben Zobrist to tie the game at three. But in the bottom of the ninth, Jose Morales singled and advanced to second base on a Nick Punto bunt. Denard Span advanced Morales to 3B with an infield single. Brendan Harris batted (against lefty JP Howell) for Alexi Casilla and after falling behind 0-2 worked a walk to load the bases for Justin Morneau. The Rays pulled Zobrist into the infield for a five-infielder set. I honestly have never seen that work at all, but on this day, it almost did. Morneau drilled a liner to 2B, who threw to second for the force out, but Morneau really hustled down the line and beat the return throw to first base. That scored Morales with the game winning run.
In the bottom of the 1st inning, Morneau hit a two run home run that gave the Twins a 2-0 lead.
For more thoughts on the game itself, I hosted a Live Chat throughout the game, so you can read my thoughts on the game, some of the plays and decisions throughout it, and plenty of other topics on the Twins game and their minor leagues.
The big league club had to work an extra half-inning to get their win. Check below because two of the three Twins affiliates that played tonight had to work extra innings in their games.
MINOR LEAGUE REPORT
Tuesday – Rochester, Buffalo – Rained Out.
Tuesday – New Britain 6, New Hampshire 4 (10 innings) – With two outs and Danny Valencia on first base, Allan de San Miguel and Matt Moses both walked before Juan Portes gave the Rockcats the lead, and eventually the win, with a two run single. Portes was 2-4 in the game. Brian Dinkelman had a big game. He went 1-2 with two walks, a stolen base, a home run and three RBI. Jay Rainville started and worked six innings. He gave up three runs on six hits and two walks. Rob Delaney gave up a run on two hits and a walk in his inning. Anthony Slama gave up two hits and two walks (and struck out two) in two innings. Frank Mata got the first two outs of the bottom of the 10th, but gave up a hit and a walk. Jose Lugo came on and got the save by striking out the final batter.
Tuesday –Ft. Myers 3, Palm Beach 4 (11 innings) – On Monday, the Miracle beat Palm Beach 4-3 in ten innings. Tonight, the Cardinals’ affiliate returned the favor, this time in 11 innings. Tyler Robertson started and gave up two runs on two hits in four innings. He walked four and struck out five. Steve Hirschfeld then worked two scoreless innings. Blair Erickson gave up a hit and walked two in 1.1 scoreless innings. Alex Burnett came in and gave up a run on two hits and two walks in 1.2 innings. Henry Arias worked a scoreless tenth inning, but he gave up the winning run in the 11th. Ben Revere went 3-4 with two walks and stole his 10th base. Rene Leveret went 2-4 with a walk and his fourth double. Chris Cates went 2-5 with his third double. Joe Mauer went 1-2 with his second double and a sacrifice fly.
Tuesday – Beloit 4, Kane County 0 – Terrific pitching performances were turned in by Bobby Lanigan and Joe Testa. Lanigan worked the first five innings. He gave up no runs on seven hits. He walked none and struck out four. Joe Testa picked up the save by striking out six in four innings. Dominic de la Osa went 3-4 with a walk and his second stolen base. Ozzie Lewis went 2-4 with his fourth double. Michael Harrington went 2-4 with his sixth double and first stolen base.
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