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Morneau's homer in 12th inning gives Twins victory

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- With two powerful swings, Justin Morneau led Minnesota to victory and pulled himself out of a slump.

Morneau's second homer of the game, a 437-foot two-run walkoff shot with two outs in the 12th inning, gave the Minnesota Twins a 7-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

"I don't think I could hit it much better than that," Morneau said. "That was a pretty good feeling, especially after the roadtrip I had."

Morneau also hit a three-run homer, giving him five RBI for the game. He was 8-for-35 on the recent 10-game trip, with just one homer and two RBI.

"It was nice to come home where you feel comfortable," Morneau said. "And, the celebration at the plate was fun."

"It's good for him to come and pick us up like that," manager Ron Gardenhire said."

Morneau's game-winner off Bruce Chen (0-6) came on a 2-0 pitch after Nick Punto singled with two outs. It was Morneau's third multihomer game this season and the fourth of his career.

"Obviously that was right in his wheelhouse and he didnt miss it," Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said.

Joe Nathan (4-0) pitched two innings for the victory.

Joe Mauer, who leads the majors with a .384 average, was 3-for-5 and now has 12 hits in his last 17 at-bats.

Brandon Fahey and Corey Patterson each had two RBI for the Orioles, who lost for the first time in 22 games when leading after seven inning. They also fell to 9-17 on the road.

Baltimore had a great chance to take the lead in the 12th when Javy Lopez was on third with one out, but he was thrown out at the plate on a close play trying to score on Jeff Conine's chopper to third-baseman Terry Tiffee.

"I thought I would be safe easy," Lopez said. "It was a bang-bang play and an out and it's frustrating."

Trailing 5-3 in the eighth, Minnesota scored twice against Baltimore relievers to tie the game. Kurt Birkins walked Mauer and was immediately relieved by former Twins pitcher LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins got Torii Hunter to ground out before walking Michael Cuddyer. Jason Kubel followed with an RBI single and, with two outs, Tiffee drove in the tying run with a chopper up the middle.

The Twins had a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning before Baltimore took advantage of two walks and an error to score four runs. With two on and two outs, Brad Radke walked Lopez and Patterson to make it 3-2. Conine followed with a grounder off Tiffee's glove, allowing the tying run to score. Fahey then drove in two runs with a single off Radke to make it 5-3.

Ramon Hernandez hit a leadoff double in the second just over the head of center-fielder Hunter, who was frozen by the line drive and couldn't recover in time to make the play. One out later, Patterson hit another double off Radke to make it 1-0.

The Twins came back in the fourth, with four straight hits off Rodrigo Lopez to start the inning, including Morneau's three-run homer, a 420-foot line drive to dead center that made it 3-1.

"I think we made all the right moves, but things didnt turn out at the end," Rodrigo Lopez said. "That is a team that will never give up."

Cuddyer started the rally with a double and Kubel singled before Morneau's 12th home run of the season.

"Him, strong like bull," Torii Hunter said of his teammate. "We need that out of him."

Notes

  • Mauer has hit safely in 17-of-18 games and 26 of the last 28. He has four straight mulit-hit games.
  • Rodrigo Lopez allowed three runs in seven strong innings, but failed to win his fourth straight start when the Twins rallied late.
  • Melvin Mora strained his right shoulder and was replaced at third base for the bottom of the seventh inning. "I haven't talked since he went out," Perlozzo said. "He said he tweaked it before the game warming up and after the inning he said it was getting worse."
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Morneau hits the first of his two homers on Friday. His second wins the game for the Twins in the 12th.  (AP)
Morneau hits the first of his two homers on Friday. His second wins the game for the Twins in the 12th. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

J. Morneau
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 5
Minnesota

J. Mauer
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4030000 .318
Melvin Mora, 3B4110012 .291
    Luis Matos, LF2000012 .195
Miguel Tejada, SS4100202 .331
Ramon Hernandez, DH6110037 .297
Javy Lopez, C5120101 .285
Corey Patterson, CF4112102 .291
Jeff Conine, 1B5020100 .234
Brandon Fahey, LF-3B6012024 .272
Nick Markakis, RF5020012 .225
Totals4551345822 
Batting
2B - Ramon Hernandez (15, Radke), Javy Lopez (9, Radke), Corey Patterson (8, Radke)
SH - Brian Roberts 2 (3), Corey Patterson (4)
RBI - Corey Patterson 2 (24), Brandon Fahey 2 (13)
2-OUT RBI - Corey Patterson (12), Brandon Fahey 2 (6)
SB - Brian Roberts (15, 2nd base off Radke/Mauer)
CS - Corey Patterson 2 (3, 3rd base by Radke/Mauer, 2nd base by Reyes/Mauer)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - B. Roberts-Tejada-Conine
Baltimore Orioles
Rodrigo Lopez 7733361 6.51
Kurt Birkins0011100 1.02
LaTroy Hawkins (BS,3) 1211100 3.72
Todd Williams 1100000 4.24
Chris Britton 1.2100130 2.37
Bruce Chen (L,0-6) 1222001 7.76
IBB - Morneau by Chris Britton
Pitches-Strikes - Rodrigo Lopez 100-62, Kurt Birkins 6-2, LaTroy Hawkins 25-16, Todd Williams 14-9, Chris Britton 23-15, Bruce Chen 22-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rodrigo Lopez 7-6, LaTroy Hawkins 2-1, Todd Williams 1-2, Bruce Chen 1-2
Batters Faced - Rodrigo Lopez 29, Kurt Birkins 1, LaTroy Hawkins 6, Todd Williams 4, Chris Britton 7, Bruce Chen 5
Minnesota Twins
Luis Castillo, 2B6010010 .278
Lew Ford, LF5000111 .233
Joe Mauer, C5130100 .384
Torii Hunter, CF5000115 .260
Michael Cuddyer, RF5210121 .272
Jason Kubel, DH4121010 .254
    Nick Punto, PR-DH2120000 .305
Justin Morneau, 1B4225202 .240
Terry Tiffee, 3B5021023 .231
Juan Castro, SS4000012 .240
   a- Luis Rodriguez, PH-SS1000002 .231
Totals4671376916 
a-flied out for Castro in the 10th
Batting
2B - Michael Cuddyer (14, Lopez)
HR - Justin Morneau 2 (13, Lopez, Chen)
RBI - Jason Kubel (8), Justin Morneau 5 (43), Terry Tiffee (1)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Morneau 2 (17), Terry Tiffee (1)
SB - Joe Mauer (6, 2nd base off Hawkins/Lopez), Nick Punto (4, 2nd base off Britton/Lopez)
CS - Terry Tiffee (1, 2nd base by Lopez/Lopez)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Tiffee-Castillo-Morneau
E - Luis Rodriguez (1, throwing error), Terry Tiffee (1, Misplayed grounder)
Minnesota Twins
Brad Radke 5.2752320 6.17
Jesse Crain 1.1200010 6.04
Dennys Reyes 1.1200010 1.72
Juan Rincon 1.2100110 1.76
Joe Nathan (W,4-0) 2100130 2.05
IBB - Tejada by Juan Rincon, Tejada by Joe Nathan
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Radke 104-67, Jesse Crain 22-16, Dennys Reyes 12-9, Juan Rincon 25-15, Joe Nathan 30-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Radke 9-5, Jesse Crain 2-1, Dennys Reyes 2-0, Juan Rincon 2-2, Joe Nathan 4-0
Batters Faced - Brad Radke 26, Jesse Crain 6, Dennys Reyes 5, Juan Rincon 7, Joe Nathan 9
Game Information
Attendance - 22894
Game Time - 4:07
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Tony Randazzo