So when he stepped to the plate in the 10th inning Friday night with the winning run on third base, he was “going on pure adrenaline. I was running out of gas fast.”
He had just enough left.
Tyner’s RBI single lifted the Twins to a 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
Torii Hunter got things going in the 10th with a one-out single off Edward Mujica (0-1). He advanced to third on a single by Jason Kubel, and Tyner followed with a rope to right field that scored Hunter, who had three hits in the game.
Tyner, who was just recalled from Triple-A Rochester the night before to replace the injured Lew Ford, had two hits and two RBIs and got a big bear hug from teammate Justin Morneau before he reached the pitcher’s mound after the winning hit.
“It’s a great way to start,” said Tyner, who was seeing his first action with the Twins since signing as a free agent after the 2004 season.
Now, maybe, he can get some sleep.
On Wednesday, Tyner was in Toledo, Ohio, for a minor league All-Star game. In typical minor league fashion, his flight to meet his teammates for Thursday night’s double-header in Ottawa took him from Toledo to Cleveland to Washington D.C. before finally crossing the Canadian border.
Tyner couldn’t play in those games because the airline lost his luggage, and all his equipment. But none of that mattered 24 hours later, when he was mobbed by his major league teammates.
“Pretty impressive,” Twins starter Brad Radke said.
Joe Nathan (6-0) pitched a perfect 10th for the win.
Jason Michaels homered for the Indians, who had a rare off night on offense.
“Both sides were outstanding on the mound tonight,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. “We just weren’t able to get anything going with the exception of Michaels hitting that home run.”
Tyner gave the Twins a 1-0 lead in the second with a single up the middle off Paul Byrd to drive in Morneau.
The Twins added another run in the fifth when Castillo hit a two-out triple and Nick Punto followed with a bloop double.
Radke was coming off an awful start against Kansas City. He gave up three runs and 11 hits in five innings of a no-decision against the lowly Royals. Shortly after, Radke revealed he had been having discomfort in his throwing shoulder since May, and he took a cortisone shot over the All-Star break.
Pitching for the first time in nine days, he seemed rejuvenated on Friday night, and the Twins certainly needed him.
“Radke, for us, was super,” said manager Ron Gardenhire, who was ejected in the seventh inning along with Punto after Punto was called out trying to steal third base. “I guess all the concerns about how he was going to do … those are out the window.”
Radke’s pitches were lively, and his trademark changeup was as good as ever. He retired 10 straight from the end of the second through the fifth inning, but the Indians finally got to him in the sixth.
Radke walked No. 9 hitter Joe Inglett and Michaels followed one batter later with his seventh homer of the season to tie the score 2-2.
But Radke was able to keep the high-powered Indians at bay, one night after they bashed three home runs off rookie Francisco Liriano in a 6-4 win.
“It was nice to have rest, a little break,” Radke said. “I have to come out strong for the second half. We’re going to need a great second half to catch up.”
The Indians entered the night second in the major leagues in runs, but Radke held them to two and four hits and struck out six in seven innings. Cleveland fell to 19 1/2 games behind Detroit in the AL Central.
“It’s been an unusual year for the team,” Byrd said. “I wish I could put my finger on it. It’s just, the wins seem to somehow elude us.”
Indians C Victor Martinez fouled a pitch off his right leg in the fourth inning and was examined by team trainers. He remained in the game and went 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at 14 games. … Indians DH Travis Hafner’s single in the ninth extended his hitting streak to a career-high nine games. … The Twins assigned LHP Dave Gassner to a rehab assignment with their Gulf Coast League affiliate. He has missed the entire season after straining his left elbow in spring training.