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Bullpen Fails to Back Mike Pelfrey’s Strong Effort

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A quick moving pitcher’s duel until extra innings ends in a Twins loss.

Mike Pelfrey threw a dandy against the Mariners giving up only four hits in eight shutout innings. Equally as impressive was Hisashi Iwakuma. Pelfrey has been much better at Target Field this year. He has a 2.33 ERA at home compared to a 5.68 ERA on the road. Pelfrey’s opposing batting average at home this season is .241 which is much lower than .346 on the road. He has allowed nearly half the runs, hits and homeruns at home than he has else where. He even has double the strikeouts at home. But even with the impressive outing Pelfrey didn’t factor in the decision.

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In the ninth inning, nail biting and homeruns ensued. Glen Perkins got two quick outs in the top of the inning with the game tied at 0. Nelson Cruz, who has been red hot with homeruns in his last two games, took a 3-0 pitch deep to center. The homerun gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth Brian Dozier stepped in with Iwakuma still pitching and one out. Dozier took him deep for a solo homerun and just like that the Cruz homer was erased. Tied at 1, the game headed to extra innings.

In the 11th inning Kevin Jepsen made his Twins debut. Pitching wildly he only got one out. Brian Duensing came in and the game really unravled for the Twins as the Mariners scored three runs.

With a deflated feeling the Twins just couldn’t make another comeback and lose with the final score 4-1.

The Twins split the series with the Mariners and are lucky to do so. Nelson Cruz might be sad to leave Target Field as he went 9 for 19 in the series.

The Twins will start a four game series with the reloaded Blue Jays tomorrow. Ervin Santana is scheduled to start against newly acquired David Price. Santana, who has a 0.76 on the road, will look to keep his success going in a hitter friendly park.