New York at Minnesota

Final 11th
New York
W: B. Duensing (2-2) L: M. Thornton (0-2)
HR: NYY - None   MIN - J. Willingham (8)

Twins edge Yanks in 11 on Cervelli throwing error wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins got a lot of help in snapping a skid against the New York Yankees.

Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli made a throwing error in the 11th inning that allowed Josh Willingham to score from second base, giving Minnesota a 2-1 victory on Saturday.

With the bases loaded, Trevor Plouffe hit a dribbler to reliever Matt Thornton (1-1). The left-hander flipped it to Cervelli for the forceout at home.

Cervelli then tried for the double play but his throw sailed way over the head of first baseman Mark Teixeira and Willingham raced home with the winning run.

"We'll take a win any way we can," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who was ejected in third inning after arguing from the dugout. "They had to make a play and threw it away."

Cervelli wished he would have held onto the ball because Plouffe was blocking his throwing lane to first.

"It's bad. We don't want to end the game like that, especially myself," he said. "Next time I've got to make a little clear, talking about my vision to first base. If I don't have it, I have to just eat the ball."

Pinch-hitter Chris Colabello doubled off the right field wall to lead off the 11th, missing a game-ending homer by inches.

The victory snapped a seven-game home skid against the Yankees and was just Minnesota's fourth win against New York in 17 games at Target Field.

Brian Duensing (2-2) pitched around a Carlos Beltran single in the 11th.

Yankees starter David Phelps had retired 11 straight before Willingham snapped an 0-for-14 skid with a homer to left that tied the game at 1 in the seventh inning.

Before Willingham's drive, Phelps had only allowed one baserunner to reach second base.

In addition to his home run, Willingham also saw the whacky final play unfold as he ran from second to third, and, eventually, home. To him, a win is a win for the struggling Twins.

"They're all pretty," he said. "That play is typically not one to end a game on, but today it was good enough to get us a win, I guess."

Ichiro Suzuki stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch with two outs in the fifth before coming home on Cervelli's single to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.

Yohan Pino held the Yankees to one run over six innings, but Minnesota couldn't put together enough offense to give the soft-tossing 30-year-old rookie his first win.

After both starters turned in strong outings, two of baseball's hottest bullpens took over. Coming into Saturday, Minnesota's relievers had a 1.78 ERA in their last 18 games while New York's pen had a 1.66 ERA in their last eight.

Five Twins relievers held the Yankees to three hits over five innings of relief. The winning run charged to Thornton was unearned.

Even though he pitched well, Phelps was mad at himself for even letting the game be decided by the bullpen or a crazy play at the end.

"We're out there grinding and there's going to be games where we don't score a lot of runs," he said. "That's why it's frustrating for me to go out and give up a leadoff home run in the seventh. Just put up a zero there and we can put that game away with our bullpen."

Cervelli was a late addition to the lineup after regular catcher Brian McCann was scratched with a sore foot.


Despite the fact that Derek Jeter has helped knock Minnesota out of the playoffs four times, Twins fans gave the retiring Yankees shortstop a standing ovation during a pregame ceremony. The Twins presented Jeter with the second base bag used during the final game played at the Metrodome. ... X-rays on McCann's sore left foot were negative. ... Twins rookie Danny Santana has only taken light swings as he rehabs from a deep bone bruise in his left knee. ... Minnesota's Ricky Nolasco (5-6, 5.49 ERA) faces Hiroki Kuroda (5-6, 4.08) in Sunday's series finale.

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Josh Willingham scores the winning run in the 14th inning courtesy of a Francisco Cervelli throwing error.  (USATSI)
Josh Willingham scores the winning run in the 14th inning courtesy of a Francisco Cervelli throwing error. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

Y. Pino
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 3
New York

D. Phelps
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 3

Related Video

New York (A.L.) Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS5010002 .266
Brian Roberts, 2B5010001 .247
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF5010021 .282
Mark Teixeira, 1B4000101 .239
Carlos Beltran, DH4010102 .219
Ichiro Suzuki, RF5110012 .283
Alfonso Soriano, LF4000023 .221
   Brett Gardner, LF0000000 .287
Francisco Cervelli, C4021000 .294
Zelous Wheeler, 3B3000012 .286
   a-Kelly Johnson, PH-3B1000010 .212
David Phelps, P0000000 .000
   Shawn Kelley, P0000000 .000
   Matt Thornton, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Wheeler in the 10th
RBI - Francisco Cervelli (3)
2-OUT RBI - Francisco Cervelli (1)
SB - Derek Jeter (6, 2nd base off Burton/Suzuki), Ichiro Suzuki (6, 2nd base off Pino/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 8
E - Francisco Cervelli (1, Throwing)
New York (A.L.) Yankees
David Phelps 7311231 4.01
Shawn Kelley 2200040 4.26
Matt Thornton (L,0-2) 1.2210110 2.33
IBB - Willingham by Matt Thornton
WP - Shawn Kelley (1)
HBP - Arcia (by David Phelps), Arcia (by Matt Thornton)
Pitches-Strikes - David Phelps 107-68, Shawn Kelley 37-30, Matt Thornton 26-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Phelps 9-9, Matt Thornton 2-1
Batters Faced - David Phelps 27, Shawn Kelley 8, Matt Thornton 8
Minnesota Twins
Brian Dozier, 2B5010001 .235
Kurt Suzuki, C4020110 .308
Chris Parmelee, 1B4000003 .264
   a-Chris Colabello, PH1010000 .237
Kendrys Morales, DH5000016 .218
Josh Willingham, LF4211132 .229
Oswaldo Arcia, RF3000010 .207
Trevor Plouffe, 3B4000101 .238
Eduardo Escobar, SS4000022 .268
Sam Fuld, CF4020001 .241
Yohan Pino, P0000000 .000
   Matt Guerrier, P0000000 .000
   Casey Fien, P0000000 .000
   Glen Perkins, P0000000 .000
   Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
   Brian Duensing, P0000000 .000
a-doubled for Parmelee in the 11th
2B - Chris Colabello (11, Thornton)
HR - Josh Willingham (8, Phelps)
RBI - Josh Willingham (24)
CS - Sam Fuld (1, 2nd base by Thornton/Cervelli)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Dozier-Escobar-Parmelee
E - Trevor Plouffe (7, Misplayed grounder)
Minnesota Twins
Yohan Pino 6311230 4.98
Matt Guerrier 1100000 2.86
Casey Fien 1100010 2.45
Glen Perkins 1000020 3.22
Jared Burton 1100010 5.14
Brian Duensing (W,2-2) 1100000 2.70
WP - Yohan Pino (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Yohan Pino 98-63, Matt Guerrier 18-11, Casey Fien 15-12, Glen Perkins 13-10, Jared Burton 21-15, Brian Duensing 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yohan Pino 9-6, Matt Guerrier 2-2, Casey Fien 1-0, Glen Perkins 1-0, Jared Burton 1-1, Brian Duensing 2-1
Batters Faced - Yohan Pino 23, Matt Guerrier 5, Casey Fien 3, Glen Perkins 3, Jared Burton 4, Brian Duensing 4
Game Information
Attendance - 36514
Game Time - 3:41
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Al Porter, Third Base - Joe West