Twins Out-slug Phillies, Take Series Opener

Twins Out-slug Phillies, Take Series Opener Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jun 12, 2012 at 10:27 pm


MINNEAPOLIS, MN (KNSI) – The Minnesota Twins line-up produced 17 hits, three home runs and seven two out RBI in an 11-7 victory Tuesday night over the Philadelphia Phillies at Target Field.

All signals pointed to a slugfest from the Twins first at bat on. Denard Span deposited the second pitch he saw leading off the bottom of the first inning into the right field overhang for his second home run of the season, and a 1-0 early Twins lead.

The two other home runs came off a pair of likely bats. Trevor Plouffe banged a two run homer to left in the second, before Josh Willingham added long ball number twelve of the season with a homer into the Twins left-centerfield bullpen. Jamey Carroll had a productive day at the plate as well, picking up three hits and driving in a pair.

For Plouffe the home run started a productive night and continued a torrid month. Plouffe went 3-for-6 with a home run, double, and single, a run scored and three RBI. Plouffe is now hitting .405 in nine June games. Four doubles and five home runs also have the Twins infielder atop the American League in slugging percentage for the month. In his last nine games Plouffe has driven in 12 runs.

Starter Nick Blackburn picked up the win, benefiting from all the Twins offense. Blackburn, now the winner of two straight starts since returning from the disabled list, left with a one run lead after five innings. The Ada, Oklahoma native allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks and picked up a strike out. The Phillies scored all four runs off Blackburn in the top of the fourth, two coming with two outs on a bloop double off the glove of Josh Willingham in left.

Five pitchers combined over the final four innings for the Twins. Brian Duensing allowed three runs in just a third of an inning, but Alex Burnett, Jared Burton, Glen Perkins and Matt Capps held the Phillies silent in the final three innings. In their own cause, the Phillies lashed out 14 hits against Twins pitching with Jimmy Rollins notching a 4-for-5 effort.

In all, five Twins had multi-hit games, while a fifth, Span, reached base four times with three walks. Eight of the nine hitters in the starting line-up for Minnesota notched at least one hit against Phillies pitching. Tuesday marked the third time in four games that the Twins picked up at least 16 hits. The team came into the game hitting .314 in interleague play this season, second best in all of baseball.

The Twins will seek their fifth straight series win as they will try to take game two against Philadelphia Wednesday night at 7:10. P.J. Walters(2-1, 4.42) for Minnesota will face Cole Hamels(8-3, 2.93) for the Phillies at Target Field. The Twins are now 25-35 on the season, within 8.5 games of the first place Chicago White Sox in the American League Central.

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