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Associated Press, Published August 03 2013

Bullpen helps Twins top Astros

MINNEAPOLIS – After Anthony Swarzak helped lead another dominant effort for the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen, he offered a few words of encouragement to his struggling young teammate Kyle Gibson.

Ryan Doumit hit the go-ahead single in the seventh inning, Minnesota’s bullpen pitched six scoreless innings and the Twins beat the Houston Astros 6-4 on Saturday night.

Swarzak made sure to connect with Gibson – a young up-and-comer – about keeping his head up after a string of bad outings: he’s allowed nine runs in his past six innings.

“He’s got unbelievable stuff I told him. He was born to be here in this league, we all see that,” said Swarzak, who has allowed just one earned run in his past 16 innings.

“Now it’s just putting it all together. When I got called up in ’09, I was kind of doing the same thing he’s doing now. You want to do good so bad, it kind of works against you sometimes.”

After Gibson allowed four runs and nine hits in three innings, Swarzak struck out five in the next three innings and the American League’s second-best bullpen came through for Minnesota.

Brian Duensing (4-1) followed with a scoreless seventh and Casey Fien a scoreless eighth to set up All-Star Glen Perkins for his 26th save.

“Swarzy was the star of the game for us,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “That was huge to pick us up.”

Minnesota relievers allowed only one hit and struck out 10 over the game’s last six innings.

Brett Wallace homered for Houston and Erik Bedard allowed three runs in six innings before leaving with a 4-3 lead.

Houston’s bullpen entered the game with a 5.11 ERA – worst in the majors – and couldn’t hang on to get Bedard his first win since June 26.

With Lucas Harrell (5-12) on the mound, Brian Dozier doubled home Clete Thomas to tie the game at 4.

After Harrell walked Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, Doumit dumped a single that landed just in front of center fielder Brandon Barnes to give Minnesota the lead.

Harrell walked Oswaldo Arcia later in the inning with the bases loaded to make it 6-4.

“It’s definitely frustrating. If I don’t pitch better I’m going to be gone,” Harrell said. “Being realistic, that’s the way it is. Hopefully they’ll even give me another chance to go back out. Hopefully finish the rest of the year and have a couple good outings and end on a high note.”

Houston Minnesota

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Villar ss 4 1 1 0 Dozier 2b 4 2 2 1

Altuve 2b 5 0 1 1 Mauer c 3 1 0 1

JCastro c 5 0 1 0 Mornea dh 3 0 1 0

Carter dh 4 0 0 0 Doumit rf 4 0 2 1

Wallac 1b 3 1 1 1 Plouffe 3b 4 0 0 0

MDmn 3b 4 1 1 0 Arcia lf 3 1 2 1

Grssmn lf 4 1 2 1 Colaell 1b 4 0 0 0

BBarns cf 4 0 2 0 Thoms cf 3 2 1 0

Hoes rf 4 0 1 1 Bernier ss 3 0 1 1

Totals 37 4 10 4 Totals 31 6 9 5

Houston 103 000 000—4

Minnesota 120 000 30x—6

E—Villar (3). DP—Houston 2. LOB—Houston 8, Minnesota 7. 2B—Altuve (16), M.Dominguez (17), Dozier (21), Thomas (8). 3B—Dozier (3), Arcia (2). HR—Wallace (8). SB—Villar (6), Hoes (1), Thomas (1). S—Bernier.

IP H R ER BB SO

Houston

Bedard 6 6 3 3 2 6

Harrll L,5-12 BS,1-1 2 3 3 3 3 1

Minnesota

Gibson 3 9 4 4 1 2

Swarzak 3 0 0 0 1 5

Duensing W,4-1 1 1 0 0 0 2

Fien H,14 1 0 0 0 0 2

Perkins S,26-29 1 0 0 0 0 1

WP—Duensing.

T—3:24. A—38,078 (39,021).

Twins 4, Astros 3 (13)

MINNEAPOLIS – Brian Dozier’s third hit of the game scored Clete Thomas in the 13th inning to lift the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.

Right-handed pitcher Kevin Correia pinch-hit in the 13th to sacrifice Thomas to second base. Dozier followed by punching a single to right field for his second RBI of the game to snap Minnesota’s four-game losing streak.

Houston Minnesota

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Villar ss 4 1 0 0 Dozier 2b 7 1 3 2

Elmore 2b 4 0 0 0 Mauer c 5 0 0 1

JCastro dh 6 0 1 2 Mornea 1b 6 0 2 1

Wallac 1b 4 0 1 0 Doumit rf 6 0 1 0

Corprn c 5 0 0 0 Arcia lf 6 0 2 0

Krauss rf 3 0 0 0 Plouffe 3b 5 0 1 0

Hoes ph-rf 2 1 1 0 Colaell dh 3 0 0 0

MDmn 3b 5 0 2 1 Bernr pr-ss 1 1 0 0

BBarns cf 4 0 1 0 Thoms cf 4 2 1 0

Grssmn lf 4 1 1 0 Flormn ss 3 0 1 0

CHrmn ph 0 0 0 0

Fien p 0 0 0 0

Roenck p 0 0 0 0

Carroll ph 1 0 0 0

Pressly p 0 0 0 0

Correia ph 0 0 0 0

Totals 41 3 7 3 Totals 47 4 11 4

Houston 000 020 001 000 0— 3

Minnesota 001 000 011 000 1— 4

Two outs when winning run scored.

E—Villar (2). DP—Minnesota 2. LOB—Houston 6, Minnesota 13. 2B—M.Dominguez (16), B.Barnes (12), Dozier (20), Morneau (27). SB—Grossman (4). CS—B.Barnes (7). S—Villar, Thomas, Correia. SF—Mauer.

IP H R ER BB SO

Houston

Cosart 7 5 1 1 1 4

Cisnero BS,2-2 Zc 3 1 1 0 0

W.Wright Zc 0 0 0 0 1

Fields Xc 0 1 1 1 1

Lo BS,1-1 Xc 1 0 0 1 0

Blackley 1 0 0 0 1 1

Zeid 1 0 0 0 0 0

Keuchel L,5-6 1Xc 2 1 1 1 0

Minnesota

Deduno 6 4 2 2 5 5

Burton 1 0 0 0 0 1

Thielbar 1 0 0 0 0 1

Perkins 1 2 1 1 0 1

Fien 1 0 0 0 0 2

Roenicke 1 0 0 0 0 0

Pressly W,3-2 2 1 0 0 0 1

HBP—by Burton (B.Barnes). WP—Lo, Deduno.

T—4:28. A—30,633 (39,021).