Twins 5, Padres 4, 11 innings
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Glenn Williams took 11 years to get to the big leagues. He’s playing like he doesn’t plan on going back to the minors.
“Baseball’s baseball, so you just try to trick yourself into thinking it’s the same thing you’ve done before,” said Williams, who began his professional career in 1994 and played in two Olympics for Australia. He didn’t make his major league debut until the Twins called him up from Triple-A Rochester on June 7.
Lew Ford led off the 11th with a walk against Dennys Reyes (3-1), and Justin Morneau doubled down the third-base line. After Michael Cuddyer was walked intentionally, Williams chopped a single over a drawn-in infield.
“I was just looking for a pitch over the plate, something I could put in play,” said Williams, who’s hitting .462 in 13 at-bats this season. “I knew he wasn’t going to mess around with me.”
Juan Rincon (4-2) pitched two shutout innings to get the win for the Twins, who are 9-4 in extra innings this season. Rincon bounced back from an erratic outing the previous night, when he gave up two hits and a walk and allowed the tying run in a comeback win by the Giants.
“He did the job,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I thought he was sharper tonight. I don’t know—maybe he’s been too strong.”
Rincon agreed, saying he’s got better control when he’s getting regular work.
“When I pitch often, I can command my pitches better and my arm feels live,” Rincon said. “I was happy just to get out there and have confidence from my manager and the opportunity to get another game under my belt and forget about the last one.”
The Padres lost their fifth straight to AL Central opponents and fell to 3-12 in June, but remain 1 1/2 games ahead of second-place Arizona in the NL West.
“This isn’t going to work, backing up,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “Until we get on track, nothing matters, and we know that.”
One night after wasting a 4-0 first-inning lead in a loss to San Francisco, the Twins went ahead 3-0 lead but couldn’t hold the lead.
Torii Hunter’s groundout and an infield single by Ford drove in runs in the first inning, and Cuddyer led off the second inning by hitting Tim Stauffer’s first pitch for his fifth home run of the season, a line drive to left.
San Diego started the third with five straight hits to take the lead. Dave Roberts led off with a bunt single, stole second and scored on Robert Fick’s double off Carlos Silva. Singles by Ryan Klesko, Brian Giles and Phil Nevin tied the game, and the Padres went ahead on a fielder’s choice grounder by Ramon Hernandez.
“That was a big mistake by me,” Hernandez said. “I’m a Major League Baseball player. I’ve got to know how many outs there were.”
After San Diego’s rally, the Twins wasted a chance to retake the lead in the fifth when they loaded the bases with no outs. Hunter lined out to second base, and Jacque Jones grounded into a double play.
Morneau tied the game for Minnesota with a two-out RBI single of Akinori Otsuka in the eighth inning.
Stauffer pitched five innings for the Padres, giving up three runs and seven hits.
Silva, who has worked at least seven innings in 11 of 12 starts this year, gave up four earned runs and 11 hits, walking one and striking out four over 7 1-3 innings.
Hernandez left the game in the eighth inning with a sore left wrist, suffered when he collided with Morneau while diving back to first base after he rounded the bag on a base hit. Bochy said he would be re-evaluated on Saturday. … Twins reliever J.C. Romero left with a slightly sprained ankle after facing just one batter in the eighth and is day-to-day. … Silva walked Geoff Blum in the second inning, just the fifth free pass he’s issued this season in 87 1-3 innings. … The Twins have grounded into 10 double plays with the bases loaded this year.