Morneau’s Single In 8th Lifts Twins To Win
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Even though he’s not hitting a lot of home runs, Justin Morneau is still making an impact for the Twins offense.
Morneau hit the go-ahead single in the eighth inning to cap a three-hit night and carry Minnesota to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday.
“Right now I still feel like I’m having productive at-bats and still helping us win ball games,” said Morneau, who is hitting .297 and leads the Twins with 36 RBIs.
“It’ll come if I keep hitting the ball hard. Obviously, it’s frustrating. But doing different things to help us win, I think I can live with that.”
The Twins entered Tuesday with just four hits in their past 50 at-bats with runners in scoring position, but got three hits in clutch situations against Philadelphia.
“Watching TV, we saw the numbers scrolling across. They weren’t very good,” Morneau said. “To be able to come through in that situation is good for everybody. Hopefully it gets us rolling in the right direction.”
Jamey Carroll — who had two hits and snapped a 0-for-24 slump — drew a walk to start the eighth off reliever Mike Adams (1-4) and ended up on third after a Joe Mauer single and a fielder’s choice.
Josh Willingham fouled out before Morneau fouled off four straight pitches and lined a single up the middle off Antonio Bastardo to give Minnesota the lead.
“Couldn’t get him out at 1-2,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
The Phillies have lost four straight after winning five in a row to climb one game over .500.
Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth, striking out Freddy Galvis to end the game and secure his 14th save.
Twins starter P.J. Walters allowed two runs in 7 1-3 innings and was removed with runners on first and second.
Right-hander Casey Fien originally trotted to the mound to relieve Walters, but was sent back soon after he arrived in favor of Bran Duensing.
Gardenhire said an umpire signaled for the righty even though he called for the lefty and yelled it twice.
“He thought it was a better move, maybe,” Gardenhire joked.
Philadelphia tied it at 2 in the eighth when Ryan Howard’s single off Duensing (1-1) scored Kevin Frandsen.
Duensing struck out Jimmy Rollins, but Howard’s grounder rolled through the right side of the infield to tie the game.
Cole Hamels had a 1-0 lead in the fourth before Willingham, Morneau and Oswaldo Arcia doubled to give Minnesota the lead.
Hamels allowed two runs and struck out five over six innings. The Phillies have won only two of Hamel’s 14 starts.
“I probably threw a couple pitches at the wrong time for what they were looking for and they were able to put them in play,” Hamels said.
Arcia’s double short-hopped the wall and landed just out of the reach of Ben Revere, who had his back to the infield and leaped toward the ball at the last second.
Revere was traded to Philadelphia from Minnesota in the offseason. The speedy center fielder made spectacular catches at Target Field to take away similar hits last season.
Michael Young had Philadelphia’s other RBI in the third.
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