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Twins take Game 1 of doubleheader in Detroit

Sep 29, 2009, 3:20 PM EDT

Ron Gardenhire did his best to over-manage the game by calling for five bunts–including a suicide squeeze that resulted in an inning-ending double play–but the Twins still prevailed in extra innings this afternoon to take Game 1 of the crucial doubleheader in Detroit.
Nick Blackburn and Rick Porcello both turned in strong starts, combining for 13.1 frames of two-run ball, but the Twins got to Brandon Lyon for a pair of 10th-inning runs in his second inning of work. That gave closer Joe Nathan a bit of breathing room and he needed it, serving up a leadoff homer to Curtis Granderson before getting three straight outs for his league-leading 45th save.
Minnesota is now just one game back of Detroit in the AL Central, but the Tigers have a sizable advantage for Game 2 with ace Justin Verlander and 26-year-old rookie Brian Duensing taking the mound in less than four hours. A win by Verlander would essentially leave the Twins needing to win both of the final two games to have any sort of realistic shot at the division title.
However, if the Twins can pull off an upset victory against Verlander they’ll be tied atop the division and in the driver’s seat with Scott Baker and Carl Pavano matching up against Eddie Bonine and Nate Robertson to finish the series. As the great Ernie Banks said, let’s play two!

  1. SBG - Sep 29, 2009 at 3:42 PM

    Twins are 3-0 against Verlander this year. He hasn’t pitched terribly against them, but they haven’t curled up into the fetal position, either.

  2. Dave L - Sep 29, 2009 at 4:16 PM

    Gardy might have over-managed with so many bunts, but at least 3 of them were warranted. The squeeze wouldn’t have been my call, easy to say now (since it didn’t work).
    Luckily for the Twins, his “over-managing” actually turned out in their favor with Kubel coming out of the game because the hit, in the bottom of the ninth, to the RF corner that Span tracked down would have won the game for the Tigers if Kubel was playing RF there. There is always an element of luck.

  3. andrew - Sep 29, 2009 at 4:17 PM

    crazy…Go Twins!

  4. D-Luxxx - Sep 29, 2009 at 4:26 PM

    Nice win. Now we need Dunsing to keep it close. If he can do that, we have a good shot at this thing.

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