Phillies Pounce on Twins Early, Hang on to Even Series

Phillies Pounce on Twins Early, Hang on to Even Series Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jun 14, 2012 at 7:08 am

MINNEAPOLIS (KNSI) – There was no quit in the line-up for the Minnesota Twins, but the bats came up a single run shy of a comeback in a 9-8 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday night at Target Field.

Hear an audio recap of Wednesday's Twins news on KNSI Sports' exclusive feature 'Two for Twins' 

Down 9-4 into the bottom of the seventh, the Twins seemed irreversibly on the wrong end of a slug-fest. But the offense that scored an average of eight runs so far this home-stand wok up against a tiring Cole Hamels and the Phllies bullpen. The first five batters in the bottom of the seventh picked up hits and produced three runs, cutting the deficit to 9-7. That forced Hamels from the game after six innings with six earned runs and eight hits on his ledger. A ground out scored the fourth run of the inning and made it a one run affair headed to the final two innings.

Back into the crucible of a one run game the Twins were only able to muster one base-runner in their final two at bats after their valiant seventh inning charge. With the series now even at a game apiece, the Twins drop to 25-36 on the year.

The game began in the most unfortunate fashion possible for the Twins. Starter P.J. Walters allowed four straight singles before leaving the game with tightness in his throwing shoulder. Walkters reportedly could not get fully loose while warming up prior to the game. An MRI is scheduled for the right-hander on Tuesday.

The first four hitters all came around to score after reliever Jeff Manship replaced Walters. In all the Phillies tallied six hits, including a three run home run off the bat of John Mayberry Jr. to take a 6-0 lead after one half inning.

Manship remained in the game and allowed three total runs of his own working through the first three frames. Anthony Swarzak followed in what appeared to be mop-up duty with the Twins trailing 7-3 in the fourth. Swarzak allowed two more runs on four hits over four innings of work, but finished his outing holding the Phillies scoreless, facing one over the minimum in his final three innings.

Thursday will see Scott Diamond (5-2, 1.61) attempt to reverse the pitching script of the past two games in the series finale as he takes on Joe Blanton (5-6, 5.40) of the Phillies. Game time is set for 7:10 at Target Field. The Twins need a win to secure their fifth straight series victory.

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