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MLB Roundup

Twins slice Tigers’ lead to 2

Dome double, bloop spark winning rally

Twins Michael Cuddyer and Joe Mauer (7) celebrate Cuddyer’s three-run homer off Detroit’s Brandon Lyon that broke the game open in the eighth. Twins Michael Cuddyer and Joe Mauer (7) celebrate Cuddyer’s three-run homer off Detroit’s Brandon Lyon that broke the game open in the eighth. (Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press)
Associated Press / September 20, 2009

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The latest ball lost in the Metrodome’s deceiving roof derailed Justin Verlander’s bid for a 17th victory, and the Minnesota Twins rallied past the Detroit Tigers, 6-2, yesterday to move within two games of the AL Central lead.

Jason Kubel’s two-run single with the bases loaded in the eighth sent Verlander (16-9) to the dugout after a season-high 128 pitches, and Michael Cuddyer greeted Brandon Lyon with a three-run homer that broke the game open.

The Twins won their sixth straight and moved four games above the .500 mark, both season highs, in front of the largest crowd (43,338) at the Metrodome since Opening Day.

Verlander, bidding to become the second AL pitcher with 17 wins, struck out Nick Punto to start his last inning with a 2-1 lead. But after a single by Denard Span, Orlando Cabrera hit a medium-length fly ball down the left-field line. Defensive replacement Don Kelly misjudged it, and it hit on the turf just under his glove for an only-in-the-dome double.

After Joe Mauer was intentionally walked, Kubel hit a bloop that Kelly charged but couldn’t reach. Cuddyer followed with his second homer in as many games.

Dodgers 12, Giants 1 - Ronnie Belliard hit a grand slam, and Matt Kemp and James Loney added back-to-back home runs off Brad Penny as host Los Angeles cruised, trimming its magic number for clinching a postseason berth to six.

Jon Garland (11-11) gave up an unearned run and seven hits in eight innings, matching his longest outing of the season. The righthander is unbeaten in his last six starts, four of those with the Dodgers after being acquired from Arizona Aug. 31.

Penny (10-9) gave up seven runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings - equaling his shortest outing of the season. He lost for the first time in four outings with the Giants since being released by the Red Sox.

Rangers 3, Angels 2 - Hank Blalock homered to help lift Texas’s slumping offense, Scott Feldman picked up his 17th victory and the host Rangers kept their slim playoff hopes alive.

The Rangers, who snapped a five-game losing streak, trail the Red Sox by 7 games in the wild-card chase.

Yankees 10, Mariners 1 - CC Sabathia ignored a scary comebacker off his chest to register his 18th victory, and Mark Teixeira homered twice and drove in a season-high five runs as visiting New York maintained its six-game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East.

Rockies 10, Diamondbacks 4 - Troy Tulowitzki homered for the fourth game in a row, extending host Colorado’s wild-card lead over San Francisco to 3 1/2 games.

Cardinals 2, Cubs 1 - Brendan Ryan homered in the fifth and singled home the winning run in the ninth, enabling host St. Louis to reduce its magic number for clinching the NL Central to four.

White Sox 13, Royals 3 - Jake Peavy allowed three runs and three hits over five innings in his first start in over three months as Chicago scored six times in the eighth and beat visiting Kansas City.

Braves 6, Phillies 4 - Host Atlanta survived a four-run, ninth-inning rally to snap Philadelphia’s six-game winning streak.

Mets 3, Nationals 2 - Tim Redding pitched splendidly into the eighth inning, and Jeff Francoeur and Daniel Murphy drove in runs, helping host New York end a six-game losing streak.

Marlins 3, Reds 2 - Pinch hitter Ross Gload connected for a two-run homer in the eighth to rally visiting Florida.

Brewers 7, Astros 2 - Jeff Suppan pitched seven strong innings to lead host Milwaukee.

Athletics 8, Indians 4 - Mark Ellis’s home run propelled host Oakland to its sixth straight victory.

Rays 4, Blue Jays 0 - Matt Garza struck out 10 to lift host Tampa Bay.

Padres 2, Pirates 1 - Henry Blanco’s sacrifice fly in the ninth lifted visiting San Diego over Pittsburgh.

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