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Twins claw back for another late win vs. Phllies

The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS -- In what began as a familiar script, the Minnesota Twins dug themselves an early hole by giving up two runs in the first inning.

But the Twins chipped away at the visiting Philadelphia Phillies and came back to earn a 4-3 win at Target Field on Wednesday.

For the second time in two nights, the Twins came back in the eighth inning to defeat the Phillies in dramatic fashion.

The Twins' Clete Thomas, who was recently called up and has been playing for the injured Aaron Hicks in center field, went 4-for-4 on the night with an RBI double. He teamed with another recent addition to the outfield, rookie Oswaldo Arcia (3-for-4 with a double), to provide all of the Twins' runs.

"Clete Thomas -- big, big night," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Huge night for him and for our ball club."

Down 3-1 in the sixth, Arcia singled to left and Thomas followed suit. Arcia went to third on Eduardo Escobar's sacrifice bunt and scored on Pedro Florimon's grounder out to relief pitcher Joe Savery.

In the eighth, the pair combined for the tying run with back-to-back doubles -- Thomas' second of the game. Escobar then bunted for a base hit to move Thomas to third, and Thomas scored the game-winner on a wild pitch to pinch hitter Chris Parmelee by Justin De Fratus.

"According to what we had there, we had the game set up pretty good with matchups," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We couldn't get them out. Bottom line, we didn't get the job done. The matchups we had were lefties vs. lefties and righties-righties. We had it perfect for us, and we didn't close it out."

Until the wild pitch, good pitching dominated the game, with both starters doing what they needed to give their respective teams a chance.

Phillies starter Tyler Cloyd pitched into trouble early -- giving up one earned run on six hits, three walks and two strike outs -- but he pitched his way out of it and kept his team in the game.

Twins starter Mike Pelfrey, just over a year removed from Tommy John surgery, had his best performance (and longest outing) of the season -- even though he did not figure in the decision. Reliever Brian Duensing got the win for the second night in a row.

Pelfrey lasted seven innings and threw 112 pitches, giving up five hits, walked one and struck out seven batters. He had good command of his pitches all game -- for his second start in a row.

"We talk about backing it up and getting better and better and he did that," Gardenhire said. "Started a little shaky there at the first -- a bit of a bad break at first base. And he gives up a couple runs, but he really settled in and pitched really, really well after that -- and gave us a great opportunity deep into the game. That was his most pitches this year, I do believe, and he looked strong at the end, which is a good sign."

The Twins got decent relief from the bullpen and in the ninth inning, closer Glen Perkins came into the game to pick up his 15th save.

The Phillies got the benefit of an early blown call when Ben Revere beat out a grounder to third baseman Jamey Carroll, who made a diving play on the ball. Revere scored on Dominic Brown's sacrifice fly to left.

The Phillies added another run in the first when Delmon Young singled to knock in Jimmy Rollins for a quick 2-0 lead.

The Twins continued to struggle at the plate with runners in scoring position, stranding five runners on base in the first two innings.

Cloyd scattered three hits and two walks and held the home team scoreless in the early going. But in the fourth, the Twins bats woke up with three straight hits to start the inning.

Arcia scored from first on Thomas' double to center. But Cloyd struck out Pedro Florimon and then induced an inning-ending double play to limit the damage to one run.

Pelfrey gave up three hits and two runs in the first inning, but then settled down to retire 12 straight Philly batters.

"Pelfrey did a really nice job out there," Gardenhire said. "His last two innings were as good as any of the others. The ball was coming out of his hand. His breaking ball got better and that was fun to watch."

That next batter against Pelfrey, Michael Young, hit a two-out double to the right-field corner and then scored on Revere's bloop single to short center for a 3-1 lead. But in the end, it wasn't enough to get the win.

"I thought we would score some runs off Pelfrey," Manuel said. "As the game goes on we usually score runs off of him, but it was a different lineup than we threw at him."

NOTES: Since the inception of interleague play, the Phillies have hit a NL-leading 319 home runs and scored 1,285 runs (second in the NL) in those games. ... The Twins are 164-133 all-time in interleague play. The 164 wins are fourth best. ... Philadelphia has an all-time record of 124-153 in interleague play. ... Twins catcher Joe Mauer's .326 career batting average in interleague play is eighth best all-time and third best among active players behind Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki.

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