Marlins 5, Twins 4

Preview | Box Score | Recap

MIAMI (AP)—A jarring collision at home plate sent Minnesota Twins slugger Justin Morneau to the hospital and left his teammates shaken, too.

The Twins scored two runs on the play to tie the game in the eighth, but Hanley Ramirez homered with two outs in the bottom of the inning Friday night, and the Florida Marlins won their third game in a row, 5-4.

“The game kind of got out of whack when Morneau got hurt,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Morneau was coughing up blood repeatedly and was out of breath, Gardenhire said. The 2006 American League MVP was taken away on a stretcher after the game and was to spend the night at the hospital with a small bruise on his lung, team spokesman Mike Herman said.

X-rays were negative and a CT scan was normal, and Morneau was expected to miss a couple of games, Herman said.

The Twins first baseman, who is second in the AL with 20 home runs, came around from first base on pinch-hitter Jason Kubel’s two-out double and was stopped short of the plate in a collision with Miguel Olivo.

“It was a little scary,” Gardenhire said. “He had nowhere to go. He just had to try to go through him. It wasn’t a violent collision, it hit him in a bad spot—a spot where he had no protection.”

The 223-pound Morneau fell to the ground, but the 220-pound Olivo did not. An instant after the collision, shortstop Ramirez’s relay throw bounced off Olivo’s glove into the dugout, allowing Morneau to reach out and touch home plate.

Kubel also came home to make the score 4-all, but because of the injury the Twins were less than jubilant.

“I think it affects your play, something like that,” center fielder Torii Hunter said. “You think about it during the game. I was thinking about it, and I was praying for him out there.”

The Marlins regained the lead on Ramirez’s homer against Juan Rincon (2-1). Ramirez was 0-for-3 before he hit a 2-1 fastball over the scoreboard for his 10th home run.

“At any given time, it doesn’t matter if he’s 0-for-3 or 0-for-15, he has a chance to make a difference in the game,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Dan Uggla hit his 14th home run and had three RBIs for Florida. Scott Olsen gave up two runs in the first, then followed with five shutout innings.

“The shutdown innings today were a lot better,” Olsen said. “That’s probably the biggest thing for me today—every time we scored, they didn’t score.”

Minnesota’s two runs in the eighth were unearned against Armando Benitez (2-3). Kevin Gregg pitched the ninth to earn his 14th save in as many chances.

Twins starter Boof Bonser threw only 66 pitches in six innings but allowed four runs.

The game was the first for Minnesota in Miami. The Marlins, starting a nine-game homestand, improved to 15-19 at home.

Florida leads the major leagues in errors, and two fielding lapses helped the Twins score three runs.

Alfredo Amezaga singled and Uggla homered in the third inning to put the Marlins ahead 3-2. Olsen led off the fifth with a double, took third on a sacrifice and scored on Uggla’s sacrifice fly.

The Twins trailed 4-2 when they loaded the bases in the sixth with three consecutive two-out singles off Olsen, but Jason Bartlett flied out to end the inning.

Shaky defense by the Marlins helped Minnesota score twice in the first. Joe Mauer singled, and with two outs, Morneau hit a drive to the warning track. Left fielder Josh Willingham reached for the ball at the wall, but it deflected off his glove for an RBI double.

Morneau then scored on Hunter’s single.

Miguel Cabrera drove in Florida’s first run with a two-out RBI double in the first.


After the game, the Marlins optioned OF Reggie Abercrombie to Triple-A Albuquerque. 1B Mike Jacobs, on the DL since May 17 with a broken right thumb, will be activated and in the lineup Saturday. … Bonser threw two balls and 18 strikes in the first two innings. … Minnesota’s Luis Castillo, facing his former team for the first time, went 0-for-3 with two walks.

Related Articles


Friday, Jun 22