Minnesotas role in the Bears beatdown

MINNEAPOLIS — Two on, two-out, down by two in the bottom of the ninth. Torrey Smith Youth Jersey . The Minnesota Twins signed Josh Willingham to be their hammer in situations just like this, and the struggling slugger delivered in a big way against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night. Willingham hit a three-run homer to lift the Twins to a 3-2 victory, their second come-from-behind win in as many days. “You want to be in that situation whether you get a hit or not,” said Willingham, who hit his fifth career walk-off homer. “Fortunately I was able to get a hit tonight. Ive been on the other end several times as well.” Justin Morneau added two doubles for the Twins, who trailed 2-0 heading into the ninth thanks to a strong start from As right-hander Jarrod Parker. But Jamey Carroll led off the ninth with a single against Brian Fuentes (2-1), who then walked Denard Span. With two out, Willingham hit a 1-0 pitch into the bullpen and was mobbed by teammates at home plate. The Athletics squandered another late-inning lead to lose for the seventh time in a row. The Twins ended Ryan Cooks 23-inning scoreless streak in the eighth inning Monday en route to a 5-4 victory. “Dont ask me how,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I really cant tell you. Thats why you play nine innings.” Parker allowed four hits, walked four and struck out four in six shutout innings for the As. Glen Perkins (1-1) pitched the ninth for the Twins and Fuentes, the former Twins reliever, blew his second save in six chances this season. Signed to replace the departed Michael Cuddyer, Willingham got off to a fantastic start, hitting .313 with seven homers in his first 31 games. But he was hitting just .203 with one homer and 11 RBIs in his last 17 games before stepping to the plate in the ninth against his former team. “We werent able to do a whole lot tonight offensively,” said Willingham, whose Twins left 11 men on in the first eight innings. “We had some chances with some guys on and werent able to get the big hit. Anytime you can come from behind and win a game like that, its great. Theyre the wins that can kind of springboard you a little bit.” Collin Cowgills base hit in the seventh gave the Athletics a 1-0 lead and Coco Crisps single in the eighth made it 2-0, but that was all their weak-hitting lineup could muster while they wait to see if Manny Ramirez can give them a much-needed jolt. The As left 12 runners on base and couldnt take advantage of control problems by jittery Twins starter Cole De Vries, who was able to pitch five shutout innings while walking five and hitting another batter. While Ramirez is working on his timing with Triple-A Sacramento following a 50-game suspension, the beleaguered As offence entered the night hitting an MLB-worst .211 this season. De Vries gave the sputtering offence plenty of opportunities to get going. He walked five and hit a batter in the first three innings, but the Twins turned two double plays and Seth Smith grounded out to first with the bases loaded in the third. “It kind of baffled me how we didnt give up more runs than that, to tell you the truth,” Gardenhire said. De Vries is from the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie and played in college at the University of Minnesota. The 27-year-old was signed as a rookie free agent in 2006 and languished in the majors for six years before finally making his debut with the Twins this year. This was his first start at home, and there seemed to be plenty of jitters early on. The right-hander was able to settle down eventually, needing just 22 pitches to get through the next two innings before giving way to Jeff Manship. “I was fairly composed during my bullpen,” De Vries said. “I could tell I was a little amped up. I went and sat down for a little bit but when I started to walk out to the mound, boom, right through the ceiling. I was like, All right, lets calm down a little here.” NOTES: As manager Bob Melvin said they are leaving their options open when OF Yoenis Cespedes comes off the disabled list. The As are exploring the idea of moving Cespedes to one of the corner outfield positions, likely LF, and keeping Coco Crisp in CF. Cespedes stronger arm and comfort with the idea makes it a possibility, Melvin said. … Crisp extended his franchise record to 30 straight steal attempts without getting caught in the third inning. … The Twins announced that LHP Phil Dumatrait, who was rehabbing a shoulder injury, decided to retire. The Twins then released him so he would be free to sign with any team if he changed his mind down the road. … The As will send RHP Tyson Ross (2-5, 5.79) to the mound in the series finale on Wednesday to face LHP Francisco Liriano (0-5, 8.47). Liriano will be making his first start since being demoted to the bullpen on May 9. He made five relief appearances. Ross is 1-5 with a 7.36 ERA in his last six starts. Haloti Ngata Authentic Jersey . The game did get close, and unlike last Mondays meltdown, this time the Nets handled it. Brook Lopez scored 20 points, Kris Humphries added 14 points and 21 rebounds, and the Nets beat the Orlando Magic 82-74 on Sunday to complete a home-and-home sweep. Vonta Leach Womens Jersey . Harbaugh told a local station that New Englands championships “got asterisks now; its been stained” while referring to the Spygate scandal of 2007. http://www.usnflravens.com/james-ihedigbo-jersey-1. After the Yankees opened the first MLB Power Rankings at No. 1, they seemed like an easy choice to go over 93 wins. While I still expect that to happen, with Michael Pineda opening the season on the disabled list, its not a number that offers quite as much value. Dennis Pitta Limited Jersey . Catch all the action live on TSN2 starting at 9pm et/6pm pt. The game is also available TSN Mobile TV. The Stampeders will be looking to exact a measure of revenge against their provincial rivals after the Eskimos eliminated the Stamps in last years West semifinal. Torrey Smith Ravens Jersey . Louis Cardinals still cant find all the answers as they try to add to their lead in the post-season race.For the second straight week, the San Francisco 49ers are on top of the TSN.ca NFL Power Rankings. A convincing win at New Orleans appears to have solidified Colin Kaepernicks status as the 49ers starting quarterback, though it will be interesting to see what happens when Kaepernick struggles and/or loses. The Niners needed a strong win to hold top spot because the New England Patriots could have easily climbed to top spot after their blowout win over the Jets on Thanksgiving Night. Among the big movers this week, the Chicago Bears won easily, 28-10, over Minnesota with starting quarterback Jay Cutler returning to the lineup. That moved the Bears from 14 to six in the rankings. Indianapolis climbed froom 15 to 10 with a win over Buffalo, along with the return of a few injured players. Terrell Suggs Authentic Jersey. Falling down the rankings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dropped from eight to 12. A one-point loss to Atlanta brings no shame, but losing a starting cornerback from what is already a porous secondary could present some problems. Seattles loss at Miami dropped them from nine to 13 and Minnesotas role in the Bears beatdown, combined with the absence of wide receiver Percy Harvin, resulted in the Vikings sinking from 11 to 17 this week. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. ‘ ‘ ‘

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