Phillies 2, Twins 1

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Billy Wagner had to really earn his first save since returning from the disabled list.

Wagner struck out Matthew LeCroy in a 13-pitch at-bat with the tying run on second, preserving the Philadelphia Phillies’ 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

LeCroy fouled off eight pitches during the at-bat, seven with two strikes on him, before missing a 98-mph fastball to end the game.

“It seemed like he hit everything,” Wagner said. “It was just a great battle. I was lucky to come out on top.”

It was the left-hander’s ninth save of the season, and first since May 7. He was on the DL with a strained left groin from May 14 to June 8 and appeared in two non-save situations since returning.

“We knew if (LeCroy) clicked on one, it was going to be game over,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of the final at-bat.

The Phillies also scored the go-ahead run in the eighth in dramatic fashion. Cristian Guzman’s errant throw on a potential double-play grounder allowed Placido Polanco to score.

With the bases loaded and one out, the Phillies’ Chase Utley hit a sharp grounder to second baseman Luis Rivas, who flipped to Guzman for a force play. But the shortstop’s relay throw pulled first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz off the bag as Utley hustled down the line.

First-base umpire Paul Emmel’s call brought frustrated reactions, but no argument from the Twins.

“I was just thinking, ‘Run!”’ Utley said. “That’s all you can do in that situation.”

Polanco opened the inning with a double off Aaron Fultz (2-2), and walks to Bobby Abreu and Pat Burrell loaded the bases with one out.

Rheal Cormier (3-3) pitched a scoreless seventh for the win. Tim Worrell pitched the eighth to set up Wagner.

Corey Koskie hit his 11th homer of the season for Minnesota, snapping a scoreless tie in the sixth inning.

Pinch-hitter Ricky Ledee tied it with a two-out RBI single in the top of the seventh.

Brad Radke gave up one run on six hits in seven innings for the Twins, striking out seven to tie his season high. Radke retired 14 in a row during one stretch, but failed to win for the fourth straight start.

“Baseball is a law of averages,” Radke said. “I’m sure I’ll hit a streak where I’m not pitching well and we’ll score a ton of runs.”

Phillies starter Paul Abbott gave up three hits and three walks in five innings in his first career start for a National League team. Abbott had given up seven runs in four innings on June 1 in Tampa Bay’s 16-4 loss at Minnesota, and was released two days later.

Abbott pitched out of trouble, as the Twins left runners on base in each of the first five innings and 11 for the game.

“There’s no better way to mix in or fit in than to throw a good game,” Abbott said.

Koskie led off the sixth with a towering homer off Phillies reliever Roberto Hernandez.

Jim Thome went 0-for-4 for the Phillies, flying out to deep center in his last at-bat to remain at 399 home runs for his career. Twins center fielder Torii Hunter jumped to make the catch, but it wouldn’t have gone over the fence.

Thome’s next homer will make him the 37th player in history to reach the400-homer milestone.


Minnesota’s Michael Ryan injured his left shoulder diving into first base in the eighth inning and will have an MRI later on Sunday. … Rivas tied his career high with four hits—all singles. … In recalling Abbott from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, the Phillies put pitcher Amaury Telemaco on the DL with right rotator cuff tendinitis. To make room for Abbott on the 40-man roster, they designated lefty Jim Crowell for assignment. … Abbott had 102 starts for five AL teams in his career. … In addition to his homer, Koskie temporarily preserved the shutout in the seventh by throwing out Pat Burrell atthe plate on Todd Pratt’s infield grounder.

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