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Minnesota at Chicago

Scoreboard
Minnesota (31-32) «0022001117140
Chi. Cubs (29-29)000003010461

Mauer's bat powers Twins; Bradley commits several bloopers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Joe Mauer and the Minnesota Twins felt loved at Wrigley Field while the home fans took out their frustrations on one of their own, mistake-prone right fielder Milton Bradley.

Mauer, batting .413 after getting two more hits in Friday's 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs, heard "M-V-P!" chants after hitting a two-run homer in the third inning and was greeted by "Let's go, Mauer!" cheers before delivering a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Cubs fans are known for traveling well and taking over road ballparks, but rarely does a visiting player get such respect at Wrigley.

  Twins activate Punto

"We hear that everywhere because he's a rock star, a teen idol, the package," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of the two-time AL batting champion, who leads AL catchers in All-Star voting.

Despite missing all of April with a back injury, Mauer matched his single-season high with his 13th home run. Friday's shot was only his second homer in 16 games following a torrid three-week stretch after he came off the disabled list.

"That was pretty neat, coming in a special place," he said of the cheers and chants. "There were a lot of Twins fans here."

Twins fans in the crowd of 41,509 probably weren't the ones giving Bradley the business for his many misdeeds.

He lost Jason Kubel's pop-up in the sun for a single, couldn't catch Michael Cuddyer's RBI bloop double, made a baserunning blunder and, most egregiously, flipped the ball into the stands after catching Mauer's one-out sac fly.

Fans even booed Bradley when he was robbed of a hit on a diving catch by left fielder Delmon Young.

It wasn't the first time the home crowd has been rough on Bradley, a $30 million free-agent acquisition who has batted .224 while battling injuries and feuding with umpires.

"That's life," Bradley said. "These people have high expectations. I have high expectations for myself. I never made a mistake like that [losing track of the outs] in my life. Sue me."

With Nick Punto on third, Brendan Harris on first, Bradley caught Mauer's fly, posed for several seconds and threw the baseball into the seats. As Punto scored easily to make it 6-3, Harris was awarded third base on Bradley's error as boos rained down from every section of the ballpark.

"It didn't cost us a run but you've got to be in the game, you've got to know how many outs there are," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "Do we need to go over math? One ... two ... three ... I don't know what else to say. I'm sure he's somewhat embarrassed by it."

Then again, maybe not.

"I wasn't embarrassed," Bradley said. "I've done a whole lot of [other] things to be embarrassed about. The run was going to score and a fan got a souvenir. I just made a mistake. I guess I'll be in the bloopers."

Bradley actually had been cheered in the sixth when his two-run double finally got Chicago on the board against Kevin Slowey, who had retired 15 of the first 16 batters.

Slowey (9-2) ended up allowing three runs on four hits in six innings while striking out 10 and walking one to become the majors' second nine-game winner.

"They've shown themselves to be pretty aggressive, really up there swinging," Slowey said. "We had a good game plan. I don't think I shook off Joe two times."

After scoring at a five-runs-per-game clip through May 16 in building a 21-14 record, the Cubs have averaged only three runs in going 8-15. A desperate Piniella shook up his batting order Friday but the Cubs still managed only six hits.

"We're pressing," Bradley said. "We were supposed to just run away with the division. We talked about it today. Just have fun. Relax."

Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save, Kubel homered and Harris had three hits for the Twins, who won for just the 10th time in 30 road games.

Cubs starter Randy Wells (0-3) allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.

Notes

  • Chicago LF Alfonso Soriano, who came into the majors as a second baseman, played that position for the first time as a Cub when he was moved there in a ninth-inning double-switch. Nothing was hit to him.
  • Right-hander Rich Harden is scheduled to come off the DL and start for the Cubs on Saturday. He's been out with a back strain.
  • Slowey is 6-1 with a 2.58 ERA in nine career interleague starts.
  • Toronto's Roy Halladay (10-1) is the other pitcher with at least nine wins.
  • The Cubs are 84-89 in interleague play.
  • The Twins are 124-90 all-time against NL clubs, one of three teams with 120 or more interleague victories.
  • Punto had two hits in his return from the DL.
 
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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Joe Mauer watches the flight of his third-inning homer and ends the day with three RBI.  (AP)
Joe Mauer watches the flight of his third-inning homer and ends the day with three RBI. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

J. Mauer
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Minnesota

K. Slowey
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 3
BB 1
K 10
 
Minnesota Twins
Brendan Harris, SS5131001 .296
Joe Mauer, C4123001 .413
Justin Morneau, 1B5110002 .338
Jason Kubel, RF4121111 .314
    Joe Nathan, P0000000 .000
Joe Crede, 3B5010012 .232
Michael Cuddyer, CF-RF4111112 .262
Delmon Young, LF5120003 .257
Nick Punto, 2B3120101 .198
Kevin Slowey, P2000002 .000
    Sean Henn, P0000000 .000
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
    Jose Mijares, P0000000 .000
    Matt Guerrier, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Gomez, CF0000000 .216
Totals37714633  
Batting
2B - Michael Cuddyer (12, Heilman)
HR - Joe Mauer (13, R. Wells), Jason Kubel (10, Patton)
SF - Joe Mauer (4)
SH - Kevin Slowey (1), Luis Ayala (1)
RBI - Brendan Harris (12), Joe Mauer 3 (39), Jason Kubel (36), Michael Cuddyer (34)
2-OUT RBI - Brendan Harris (5), Michael Cuddyer (10)
Team LOB - 9
Minnesota Twins
Kevin Slowey (W,9-2) 64331100 4.23
Sean Henn (H,2) 0.1000010 3.48
Luis Ayala (H,1) 1111010 4.13
Jose Mijares (H,8) 0.1000000 2.33
Matt Guerrier (H,10) 0.1100000 3.14
Joe Nathan (S,14) 1000000 1.85
HBP - Johnson (by Jose Mijares)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Slowey 98-64, Sean Henn 6-3, Luis Ayala 12-9, Jose Mijares 6-3, Matt Guerrier 4-4, Joe Nathan 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Slowey 4-4, Luis Ayala 1-1, Joe Nathan 2-1
Batters Faced - Kevin Slowey 23, Sean Henn 1, Luis Ayala 4, Jose Mijares 2, Matt Guerrier 2, Joe Nathan 3
Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF-2B4110022 .237
Mike Fontenot, 3B2100110 .244
   a- Reed Johnson, PH0000000 .272
    David Patton, P0000000 .000
Milton Bradley, RF4022002 .224
Derrek Lee, 1B4012011 .268
Geovany Soto, C4000023 .213
Kosuke Fukudome, CF4000030 .278
Ryan Theriot, SS4000020 .278
Aaron Miles, 2B-3B4110000 .202
Randy Wells, P1000000 .167
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .231
   b- Bobby Scales, PH1110000 .241
    Jason Waddell, P0000000 .000
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
   c- Micah Hoffpauir, PH-LF1000010 .264
Totals33464112  
a-hit by pitch for Fontenot in the 8th
b-singled for Marshall in the 6th
c-struck out for Heilman in the 8th
Batting
2B - Milton Bradley (4, Slowey)
RBI - Milton Bradley 2 (16), Derrek Lee 2 (27)
2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee (10)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Theriot-Miles-Lee
E - Milton Bradley (1, Throwing(Bradley threw the ball into the stands thinking there were three outs))
Chicago Cubs
Randy Wells (L,0-3) 3.2744211 2.55
Sean Marshall 2.1100120 4.65
Jason Waddell 0.1211000 5.40
Aaron Heilman 1.2311000 4.50
David Patton 1111001 6.23
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wells 78-48, Sean Marshall 25-18, Jason Waddell 11-8, Aaron Heilman 32-21, David Patton 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wells 2-7, Sean Marshall 3-2, Aaron Heilman 2-3, David Patton 3-0
Batters Faced - Randy Wells 19, Sean Marshall 9, Jason Waddell 3, Aaron Heilman 8, David Patton 4
Game Information
Attendance - 41509
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Mike Estabrook, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Tom Hallion