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May 14


Monday, May 14, 2012 5:35 PM  RssIcon

By John Shipley (www.twincities.com/Pioneer Press) -Darin Mastroianni drove in three runs with his first major league hits, and Nick Blackburn survived three home runs to earn his first victory of the season as the Twins beat Toronto 7-6 in a game delayed nearly two hours by rain Friday, May 11, at Target Field.

The Blue Jays hit four homers, two by Jose Bautista, but left the tying run at third in the eighth and ninth innings. Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his sixth save, getting Bautista to pop out to third to end the game.

Playing in his third major league game, and second since the Twins called him up from Class AAA Rochester, Mastroianni drove in two runs with a two-out single to cap a four-run fourth inning, then knocked in an insurance run in the seventh with another two-out single.

Claimed off waivers in early February, Mastroianni, 26, was playing against the team that drafted him in the 16th round of the 2007 amateur draft.

Blackburn (1-4) gave up five earned runs on six hits, three of them homers, and three walks in five-plus innings. He left without recording an out in the sixth after Bautista and Eric Thames homered to cut the Twins' lead to 6-5. Right-hander Alex Burnett replaced Blackburn and gave up a quick single to Brett Lawrie before retiring the next three batters.

Blue Jays starter Kyle Drabek (2-4) surrendered four earned runs on four hits and four walks, leaving after throwing 104 pitches in 41/3 innings. The Twins had him on the ropes several times early but he wriggled out of
trouble until the fifth, when the Twins broke open a 2-2 game with four runs. It was Minnesota's first four-run inning since they got four in the first of a 7-4 victory over Kansas City on April 29.

Denard Span led off the fifth with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. After a Brian Dozier strikeout, Joe Mauer walked and Josh Willingham drove in Span with a double to right. Doumit then walked the bases loaded for Trevor Plouffe, who struck out swinging before Chris Parmelee walked to drive in a run and Mastroianni drove in two with a single to center.

It marked the first major league hit, and first RBIs, for Mastroianni.

That gave Blackburn four runs to play with, and he needed them. He failed to record an out in the fifth, giving up three runs on two home runs, a solo shot by Bautista and a two-run homer by Thames that cleared the wall in dead center.

The Twins had a chance to chase Drabek early.

With two in and one out in the first, the Twins had Willingham at third and Doumit at second, but Plouffe struck out swinging and Parmelee grounded out to second.

Leading 2-1 in the second inning, Jamey Carroll drew a one-out walk and moved to third on Span's single to right. But Span was thrown out trying to steal, and Carroll stayed at third on the play. Rookie Brian Dozier followed with a four-pitch strikeout.

In the third, Mauer opened with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch, but none of the Twins' next three batters could bring him home. Willingham grounded to short, Doumit fanned and Plouffe grounded to third on the first pitch he saw.