Twins 6, Diamondbacks 5

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PHOENIX (AP)—Rallying from a five-run deficit wasn’t quite enough to give Al Pedrique a victory in his debut as Arizona manager.

That season-long Diamondbacks’ problem—errors—made the difference.

Danny Bautista bobbled the ball in the outfield, allowing Luis Rivas to score in the ninth inning and give the Twins a 6-5 victory over the Diamondbacks on Friday night.

Minnesota stopped a five-game losing streak and pulled within one game of the first-place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central. Arizona, last in the NL West, dropped to 29-51.

Pedrique, who managed in the minor leagues for eight seasons before becoming Arizona’s third base coach this year, was hired Friday as the Diamondbacks’ manager for the rest of the season. Bob Brenly was fired less than three years after leading Arizona to its only World Series title.

The Diamondbacks trailed 5-0 after three innings, but scored five in the fourth.

“I’d say the first two innings I was pretty nervous,” Pedrique said. “But then the team came back, and I really got pumped and I felt much better the rest of the game.”

Stephen Randolph (2-2), who had retired seven in a row, walked Rivas with one out in the ninth, then was replaced by Brandon Villafuerte. Pinch-hitter Matthew LeCroy doubled to right-center, and Bautista bobbled the ball, allowing Rivas to score.

“It was a tough play. He ran a long way and has got to backhand the ball in the gap,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “That’s not an easy play, and Luis is one of our faster guys, too. Speed does that to people. Speed can make you rush things.”

It was Minnesota’s third unearned run of the game.

J.C. Romero (4-1) pitched three scoreless innings, and Joe Nathan threw a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save in 24 chances.

“I was very pleased with the way I executed my pitching tonight,” Romero said. “It was a big situation. I had to find a way to stop the rally and change the momentum. It seemed like everything was turning toward their favor.”

Arizona fell behind 5-0 after three innings, then came back with five runs in the fourth, getting help from shortstop Cristian Guzman’s throwing error.

“We’ve got a whole second half to go,” the Diamondbacks’ Luis Gonzalez said. “Today we played better. Unfortunately we didn’t come up with the win, but we had a good rally there. The guys kept battling.”

Torii Hunter led off the second with a double, was sacrificed to third by Jacque Jones, then scored when Doug Mientkiewicz hit his fourth homer.

Minnesota added three more in the third. Guzman reached on second baseman Roberto Alomar’s fielding error, then Joe Mauer bounced one over the fence in left for a double.

Corey Koskie singled in both runners, then scored on Jones’ two-out single to make it 5-0.

Bautista’s leadoff single started Arizona’s comeback. Shea Hillenbrand singled, then Chad Tracy doubled in Bautista. Alex Cintron’s infield single brought in Arizona’s second run. Juan Brito hit a hard grounder to shortstop, but Guzman’s short throw sailed past Rivas at second, and two runs scored to make it 5-4.

Alomar’s groundout to first brought home the tying run.

“It’s been a long day for everybody today,” Gonzalez said. “There was a lot of hoopla today for a lot of guys to swallow around here. In a couple of days we’ll get on the road, and then the All-Star break up. We’re just going to try to turn this thing around and start playing positive.”

Minnesota starter Kyle Lohse allowed five runs—three earned—and 11 hits in five innings. Arizona knuckleballer Steve Sparks lasted just four innings,allowing five runs—three earned—and seven hits.


Alomar saved a run with a diving stop of Hunter’s hard grounder to second to end the fifth. … Guzman has a team-leading nine errors. … Arizona’s Greg Aquino pitched two scoreless innings of relief in his majorleague debut.

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