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Associated Press, Published June 17 2012

Span wins it for Twins in extra innings

MINNEAPOLIS – As a rainy afternoon turned into early evening, Denard Span said everyone in the Twins dugout had the look of wanting someone to come through with a clutch hit.

Span did just that.

He had an RBI single with two outs in the 15th inning, giving Minnesota a 5-4, come-from-behind victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday in the longest game played at 2½-year-old Target Field.

“I was just trying to get us to dinner,” Span said, smiling.

Span and Jamey Carroll had four hits apiece for the Twins, who rallied from a three-run deficit. Minnesota’s bullpen pitched nine shutout innings. Anthony Swarzak (1-4) worked a perfect 15th for the win in a game that lasted 4 hours, 50 minutes.

Trevor Plouffe led off the 15th with a single off Tim Dillard (0-2), and went to second on a single by Brian Dozier two batters later. Carroll then lined a single to right field. Plouffe ran through a stop sign by third base coach Steve Liddle and was tagged out in a rundown. Dozier advanced to third base during the play.

Left-hander Juan Perez came in to face Span, who hit the third pitch he saw between the first and second basemen for the winning RBI.

“That was probably my first walk-off since the minor leagues,” Span said.

He wouldn’t have had that opportunity if not for the scoreless efforts of Swarzak, Alex Burnett, Jared Burton, Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing and Jeff Gray.

“Jeff Gray was the pitcher of the game as far as I’m concerned,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

The right-hander who had allowed six runs in his previous 4 Xc innings over four appearances, yet kept his game plan simple.

“I just wanted to throw strikes, try to get ahead, make my pitches and hopefully they’ll put them in play at our guys,” Gray said. “I was just trying to eat up as many innings as possible without giving up some runs.”

Twins catcher Joe Mauer left the game in the seventh inning with a bruised right quadriceps. He’s day-to-day.

Corey Hart connected for a three-run homer in the fifth to give Milwaukee a 4-1 lead. Rickie Weeks and Nyjer Morgan each had three hits for the Brewers.

Minnesota had the bases loaded against Jose Veras in the 12th, but Ryan Doumit grounded out to end the threat.

Before that inning, the game was interrupted by a 42-minute rain delay. It was the second time significant showers fell during the game.

Both teams had good chances to end it before the delay. The Brewers had Carlos Gomez at second with one out in the ninth, but Aramis Ramirez and Hart flew out to right field.

Minnesota got Doumit to third base with two outs in the 11th, but Span grounded out and the tarps were unrolled.

“We both could have won the game a lot earlier. That’s the way it goes,” said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.

Milwaukee Minnesota

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Aoki rf 7 1 1 0 Span cf 8 1 4 1

Morgan cf 4 2 3 0 Revere rf 7 0 2 1

CGmz ph-cf 4 0 2 0 Mauer c 4 0 3 2

Braun lf 7 0 1 0 Mstrnn pr 0 0 0 0

ArRmr dh 7 0 1 1 Butera c 3 0 0 0

Hart 1b 5 1 1 3 Wlngh lf 6 0 0 0

Green 3b 4 0 1 0 Mornea 1b 7 0 2 0

Conrad ph 1 0 0 0 Plouffe 3b 5 1 2 0

Maysnt ss 2 0 1 0 Doumit dh 6 0 1 0

RWeks 2b 6 0 3 0 Dozier ss 6 1 2 0

Rnsm ss-3b 7 0 0 0 JCarrll 2b 7 2 4 1

Mldnd c 7 0 1 0

Totals 61 4 15 4 Totals 59 5 20 5

Milwaukee 100 030 000 000 000— 4

Minnesota 001 000 300 000 001— 5

Two outs when winning run scored.

E—M.Maldonado (1), Plouffe 2 (7). DP—Milwaukee 2, Minnesota 1. LOB—Milwaukee 17, Minnesota 15. 2B—Aoki (10), Morgan (3), C.Gomez (6), Span (17). 3B—R.Weeks (2). HR—Hart (14). SB—R.Weeks (6), Revere (11). CS—Plouffe (2). S—Dozier.

IP H R ER BB SO

Milwaukee

Greinke 8 11 4 4 2 6

Fr.Rodriguez 1 1 0 0 0 1

Loe 2 2 0 0 0 0

Veras 1 1 0 0 2 0

Dillard L,0-2 2Xc 4 1 1 0 2

J.Perez 0 1 0 0 0 0

Minnesota

Blackburn 6 9 4 4 2 3

Al.Burnett 1 0 0 0 0 0

Burton 1 1 0 0 0 0

Perkins 2 2 0 0 1 1

Duensing 1 0 0 0 0 1

Gray 3 1 0 0 2 1

Swarzak W,1-4 1 2 0 0 0 1

J.Perez pitched to 1 batter in the 15th.

T—4:50 (Rain delay: 0:42). A—39,206 (39,500).