Philadelphia at Minnesota

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Philadelphia (30-34) «6012000009151
Minnesota (25-36)0120014008101

Phillies 9, Twins 8

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Jim Thome wasn't ready to worry about the at-bats he'll lose next week.

He was too busy enjoying his latest tape-measure home run and a much-needed win.

Thome drove in four runs against his former team, including a long homer to pad Philadelphia's lead, and the Phillies hung on for a 9-8 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.

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Thome hit a two-run single in the first inning against Twins starter P.J. Walters (2-2), who left with no outs and shoulder pain. Then he took Anthony Swarzak deep for a two-run shot in the fourth, the 606th of his career. The distances are unscientific, estimated on the spot by Twins staff in the press box, but Thome has the four longest home runs in Target Field's three-season history. This one took third place, measured at 466 feet to the standing room above the batter's eye.

Twins fans enjoyed the soft-spoken, hard-hitting slugger so much in his two seasons here that they stood, cheered and clapped for the 41-year-old as he jogged around the bases.

"Any time you clear the center field backdrop, it means a lot," Thome said, smiling. "It's special."

Said Phillies starter Cole Hamels: "I don't even think I could do that from second base."

Added Twins manager Ron Gardenhire: "That's the deep water, and only a few boys can go in the deep water."

John Mayberry also had four RBI, including a three-run home run in the first inning to give Hamels (9-3) a six-run lead he barely held. Jonathan Papelbon got the last four outs for his 17th save in as many attempts.

Hunter Pence and Carlos Ruiz both had three hits and scored two runs, helping the Phillies -- who have been in last place since May 5 -- win for only the second time in their last 11 games.

Thome missed more than a month because of a lower back strain, but he's hitting .435 in 23 at-bats with six runs, 10 RBI and both of his homers this year since coming off the disabled list. Five of the seven games have been in American League ballparks, allowing him to be the designated hitter.

Thome has talked often of the difficult adjustment to becoming a full-time pinch-hitter, finding a routine that works with his limited role, but when he's the DH -- as he was most of the time with the Twins in 2010 and 2011 -- he sure does fine.

"I'm getting a chance to play every day. It's been a lot of fun," Thome said.

But next week, the Phillies will face a dilemma. Thome has played first base four times this season, but it's hard on his long-problematic back.

"I don't know how we're going to get him in there," manager Charlie Manuel said, after acknowledging before the game the possibility of putting him in the field.

The Phillies hope to find a way he can see full-speed batting practice early while he's not participating in games, but Thome wasn't touching that topic yet.

"I try not to look too much ahead. Baseball's that way. You focus on the day and the moment. We'll deal with that when that happens," he said.

Denard Span had three hits, Joe Mauer drove in two runs and Josh Willingham and Trevor Plouffe both homered for the Twins, who nearly erased deficits of 6-0 and 9-3. Papelbon promptly ended their rally by striking out Mauer in a perfect ninth.

Manuel and Thome were quick to credit Minnesota's streaking offense for the comeback, but a third straight start by Hamels couldn't be ignored. After going 5-0 in May, Hamels has fallen into his usual June swoon. It's the worst month of his career; he's 11-16 all time.

"I'm not concerned," he said. "I'm definitely frustrated."

Hamels was charged with a season-high six earned runs, giving up eight hits and two walks while striking out six and failing to retire a batter in the four-run seventh inning.

"I feel like it comes and goes. I definitely have innings where things are working really well and I'm hitting my spots, and all of a sudden an inning comes and I can't hit a spot to save a life," Hamels said.

Notes

Phillies RHP Joe Blanton (5-6, 5.40 ERA) pitches the series finale Thursday, with LHP Scott Diamond (5-1, 1.61) taking the mound for the Twins. Blanton has allowed five or more runs in each of his last five starts, winning only the previous one. Diamond has the lowest ERA for a rookie in Twins history after his first seven starts of a season. ... Placido Polanco returned at 3B for the Phillies after missing a week with a left wrist injury. ... Plouffe has 11 homers, second-most on the team, with 10 in the last 20 games.

 
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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Players of the Game
Philadelphia

J. Thome
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
Minnesota

D. Span
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Philadelphia Phillies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jimmy Rollins, SS5110022 .250
Juan Pierre, LF5130000 .326
    Ty Wigginton, 1B0000000 .254
Hunter Pence, RF5230002 .283
Jim Thome, DH4224101 .293
    Mike Fontenot, PR-DH0000000 .341
Shane Victorino, CF5010004 .251
Carlos Ruiz, C3231200 .361
Placido Polanco, 3B5000007 .282
John Mayberry Jr., 1B-LF5124014 .227
Michael Martinez, 2B4000114 .308
Totals41915944  
Batting
2B - Shane Victorino (13, Perkins), Carlos Ruiz 2 (15, Manship, Swarzak), John Mayberry Jr. (9, Manship)
HR - Jim Thome (2, Swarzak), John Mayberry Jr. (3, Manship)
RBI - Jim Thome 4 (10), Carlos Ruiz (34), John Mayberry Jr. 4 (16)
2-OUT RBI - John Mayberry Jr. 3 (9)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Martinez-Rollins-Mayberry
E - Michael Martinez (1, Throwing)
Philadelphia Phillies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Cole Hamels (W,9-3) 6876262 3.34
Antonio Bastardo (H,13) 1211020 2.53
Chad Qualls (H,11) 0.2000030 4.56
Jonathan Papelbon (S,17) 1.1000010 2.10
WP - Antonio Bastardo (3), Chad Qualls (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Cole Hamels 99-67, Antonio Bastardo 23-14, Chad Qualls 12-9, Jonathan Papelbon 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cole Hamels 8-4, Antonio Bastardo 1-0, Jonathan Papelbon 1-2
Batters Faced - Cole Hamels 28, Antonio Bastardo 5, Chad Qualls 3, Jonathan Papelbon 4
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Denard Span, CF5131002 .293
Ben Revere, RF5221002 .342
Joe Mauer, C5012021 .303
Josh Willingham, LF5112013 .290
Justin Morneau, 1B3001100 .241
Ryan Doumit, DH4000033 .262
Trevor Plouffe, 3B4111030 .232
Brian Dozier, SS4110020 .228
Jamey Carroll, 2B3210110 .256
Totals388108212  
Batting
2B - Denard Span (16, Hamels), Brian Dozier (8, Hamels)
HR - Josh Willingham (13, Hamels), Trevor Plouffe (11, Hamels)
RBI - Denard Span (15), Ben Revere (7), Joe Mauer 2 (31), Josh Willingham 2 (44), Justin Morneau (33), Trevor Plouffe (21)
2-OUT RBI - Trevor Plouffe (9)
SB - Jamey Carroll (6, 2nd base off Hamels/Ruiz)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Morneau-Dozier, Morneau-Dozier
E - Glen Perkins (1, Missed catch of throw)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
P.J. Walters (L,2-2)0444000 5.40
Jeff Manship 3533121 5.68
Anthony Swarzak 4422201 5.17
Jeff Gray 1100000 4.97
Glen Perkins 1100120 3.38
IBB - Ruiz by Glen Perkins
Pitches-Strikes - P.J. Walters 15-10, Jeff Manship 52-34, Anthony Swarzak 54-31, Jeff Gray 11-8, Glen Perkins 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Manship 3-4, Anthony Swarzak 9-1, Jeff Gray 2-1, Glen Perkins 2-0
Batters Faced - P.J. Walters 4, Jeff Manship 15, Anthony Swarzak 16, Jeff Gray 4, Glen Perkins 6
Game Information
Attendance - 32581
Game Time - 3:05
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Manny Gonzalez, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Gerry Davis