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Milwaukee at Minnesota

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Milwaukee (38-31)0000220329150
Minnesota (34-33) «20304000110120

Twins walk off with win after bungling game vs. Brewers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- One phrase kept coming out of Lew Ford's mouth as he watched Justin Morneau's home run ball slam off the folded seats over the big baggie in right field.

"Thank you, Justin," Ford said. "Thank you, thank you, thank you. You're the man. ... I think I was happiest guy in the building."

Morneau capped a wild game with his third walk-off homer of the season to lift the Minnesota Twins to a 10-9 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

The blast by the reigning AL MVP bailed out Ford, whose two fielding miscues in the top of the inning allowed Milwaukee to tie the game off closer Joe Nathan (3-1).

Filling in for the injured Torii Hunter, who was hit by a pitch on the left hand in the first inning, Ford had a career-high four RBI but nearly cost the Twins the game in the ninth.

Ford lost a sky-high popup from Prince Fielder in the Metrodome's white roof, and the 262-pound Fielder rumbled around the bases for an inside-the-park homer to make the score 9-8.

"Everybody loses them," said Hunter, a six-time Gold Glove winner. "If I was out there, I would have lost it, too."

Fielder said it was his first inside-the-park homer since Little League.

"I am a little quicker than people think," Fielder said with a smile.

Later in the inning, Ford double-clutched on a sacrifice fly from Craig Counsell and Bill Hall scored easily to tie the game and give Nathan his second blown save of the season.

But he got the win as a consolation prize after Morneau hit his 20th homer of the season off Chris Spurling (1-1) to help the Twins avoid a sweep. Morneau also hit game-ending homers on April 12 to beat Tampa Bay and May 8 to beat the Chicago White Sox.

"The more you do it, the more comfortable you feel," Morneau said. "Try to be aggressive, hit it on the right part of the bat, then jog and have some fun."

Morneau was mobbed at home plate by a relieved group of teammates, who nearly blew a huge lead.

The Brewers trailed 9-2 after the Twins scored four runs in the fifth to chase Milwaukee starter Jeff Suppan. But Tony Graffanino hit a two-run homer in the sixth and Corey Hart's second long ball of the game -- a two-run shot off Juan Rincon in Milwaukee's three-run eighth -- made the score 9-8.

The Twins sent the normally unhittable Nathan to the mound in the ninth, but he gave up four hits in the inning before striking out Hart to give Morneau a chance.

"Holy cow," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It doesn't matter how you win 'em, they just win 'em."

J.J. Hardy also went deep for the big-boppin' Brewers, who hit a season-high five homers in the game and are second in the majors with 93 on the season.

Hunter was listed as day-to-day with a bruised left hand and Ford picked up the slack at the plate with two hits to double his RBI total for the season. He entered with just four on the year, but his production will no doubt be overshadowed by his blunder on Fielder's home run.

"That's what I will remember," Ford said sheepishly.

Jeff Cirillo had three hits and Morneau added three RBI as the Twins finally gave their pitchers some run support.

They had scored just eight total runs in the previous three games, but roughed up Suppan early. Suppan gave up nine runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. It was the worst start of the season for the right-hander, who signed a four-year, $42 million contract after earning NL Championship Series MVP honors and helping lead the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series title.

The nine runs allowed were one off a career high for Suppan. He gave up 10 at Atlanta last July.

"They were able to capitalize on my lack of location," Suppan said. "I was missing spots."

Rookie Kevin Slowey gave up four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings for the Twins.

"It would have been a great comeback," Brewers outfielder Geoff Jenkins said. "But it doesn't matter now."

Notes

  • Hart had his second multi-homer game of his career.
  • The father of Twins reliever Pat Neshek sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame in a special sixth-inning stretch as part of MLB's campaign to raise awareness for prostate cancer.
 
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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Justin Morneau (33) shows why he's the AL MVP with a walk-off homer to beat the Brewers.  (AP)
Justin Morneau (33) shows why he's the AL MVP with a walk-off homer to beat the Brewers. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

J. Morneau
AB 2
R 3
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Milwaukee

C. Hart
AB 6
R 2
H 3
HR 2
RBI 3
 
Milwaukee Brewers
Corey Hart, RF6233022 .301
J.J. Hardy, SS5121013 .282
Ryan Braun, 3B5000022 .294
Prince Fielder, DH4111110 .290
Bill Hall, CF4130110 .273
Johnny Estrada, C5010005 .291
    Tony Gwynn Jr., PR0000000 .301
    Damian Miller, C0000000 .217
Geoff Jenkins, LF4230100 .285
Tony Graffanino, 1B5112025 .237
Craig Counsell, 2B3112110 .246
Totals419159410  
Batting
2B - Bill Hall (19, Slowey), Geoff Jenkins (9, Rincon)
HR - Corey Hart 2 (7, Slowey, Rincon), J.J. Hardy (17, Slowey), Prince Fielder (25, Nathan), Tony Graffanino (3, Slowey)
SF - Craig Counsell (2)
RBI - Corey Hart 3 (23), J.J. Hardy (49), Prince Fielder (54), Tony Graffanino 2 (14), Craig Counsell 2 (13)
SB - Corey Hart (12, 2nd base off Guerrier/Redmond)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Graffanino-Hardy, Suppan-Hardy-Graffanino
Milwaukee Brewers
Jeff Suppan 4.21099320 4.69
Jose Capellan 2.1100210 3.60
Chris Spurling (L,1-1) 1111001 3.74
IBB - Morneau by Jose Capellan
HBP - Hunter (by Jeff Suppan)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Suppan 94-53, Jose Capellan 52-27, Chris Spurling 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Suppan 5-5, Jose Capellan 3-3, Chris Spurling 2-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Suppan 26, Jose Capellan 10, Chris Spurling 4
Minnesota Twins
Luis Castillo, 2B4000101 .319
Joe Mauer, DH4320101 .316
Michael Cuddyer, RF4210122 .296
Justin Morneau, 1B2323200 .280
Torii Hunter, CF0000000 .307
    Lew Ford, PR-CF3124002 .246
Mike Redmond, C4011002 .297
Jason Tyner, LF4111002 .268
Jeff Cirillo, 3B4031000 .233
    Nick Punto, 3B0000000 .229
Jason Bartlett, SS4000013 .242
Totals3310121053  
Batting
2B - Michael Cuddyer (14, Suppan), Justin Morneau (12, Suppan), Lew Ford (3, Suppan)
HR - Justin Morneau (20, Spurling)
SF - Justin Morneau (4)
RBI - Justin Morneau 3 (54), Lew Ford 4 (8), Mike Redmond (20), Jason Tyner (12), Jeff Cirillo (12)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Redmond (7), Jason Tyner (5), Jeff Cirillo (4)
SB - Luis Castillo (7, 2nd base off Capellan/Estrada), Jason Tyner (4, 2nd base off Suppan/Estrada)
Team LOB - 6
Minnesota Twins
Kevin Slowey 5.1844443 4.43
Matt Guerrier 1.2000030 1.52
Juan Rincon 1333011 3.42
Joe Nathan (BS,2; W,3-1) 1422021 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Slowey 97-60, Matt Guerrier 29-18, Juan Rincon 16-11, Joe Nathan 26-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Slowey 8-4, Matt Guerrier 1-1, Juan Rincon 1-1
Batters Faced - Kevin Slowey 28, Matt Guerrier 5, Juan Rincon 6, Joe Nathan 7
Game Information
Attendance - 31624
Game Time - 3:14
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Jerry Crawford, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi