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Mastroianni helps Twins survive Toronto power display

Mastroianni helps Twins survive Toronto power display Click to Enlarge Photo:

May 12, 2012 at 12:20 am

MINNEAPOLIS (KNSI) –A nearly two hour rain delay didn't hamper Darin Mastroianni's effort Friday night as the recent call-up picked up the first two hits of his career and drove in three runs, including the decisive tally in the Minnesota Twins 7-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, despite four home runs produced by the Toronto hitters.

The Twins held a 2-1 lead after one and never relinquished the advantage, always keeping a step ahead of the Jays homers. Nick Blackburn picks up his first win of the year, even though he allowed five runs on six hits and three homers over five innings of work.

After Jose Bautista put the Jays up in the first with a solo home run, the Twins used three walks and a bases loaded single from Ryan Doumit to take the lead right back after one. Toronto starter Kyle Drabek would continue to struggle with command, throwing 109 pitches in just over four innings.

The Twins couldn't capitalize off the struggling Drabek again until the fifth when three walks aided Minnesota's four run inning. Denard Span started it with a double, coming home to score two batters later on a Josh Willingham two base hit.

After an intentional walk and a strike out, Chris Parmelee worked a bases loaded walk to make it 4-2 Twins. That's when Mastroianni laced his first major league hit through the infield, driving in the first two runs of his career and putting Minnesota ahead 6-2.

Aside from the Bautista homer in the first, and a two out rally that netted the Jays a run in the fourth, Blackburn seemed to cruise through the first five innings. But the wheels fell off as the long balls started flying again in the sixth.

Bautista got Blackburn again with a solo shot to lead off the sixth. Then, after a walk, Eric Thames drove what would be Blackburn's final offering of the game deep over the center field wall. Blackburn left after five full innings, allowing five runs on six hits with three walks and two strike outs. Despite not recording an out in the sixth, Blackburn left with a chance to get his first win.

The Twins bullpen, a rare source of strength over the bulk of the season, took center stage starting with Alex Burnett who took over to finish the sixth. Burnett allowed a single then retired the final two batters to keep the Twins up 6-5.

After Jared Burton worked a perfect top of the seventh, the Twins looked for insurance, and Mastrionni would deliver for the second time. Ryan Doumit walked to lead off the inning, replaced for a pinch runner, Erik Komatsu. After a pair of fly outs, with Komatsu at second, Mastroianni lined a ball to left to drive home his third run of the game and push the Minnesota lead to 7-5.

Burton's perfect seventh extended a pair of streaks on the season for the righty. He has now not allowed a run in his last 11 appearances and has gone 11.1 innings without surrendering a hit.

The barrage from the Toronto bats continued in the eighth off of reliever Glen Perkins. Edwin Encarnacion led off the inning with the Blue Jays fourth home run to make it a one run game again at 7-6. After back to back singles, Perkins induced a double play ball off the bat of Colby Rasmus to put a runner at third with two outs. After a battle with pinch hitter Ben Francisco, Perkins induced a looper to shallow left that Josh Willingham tracked down with a dive to keep the lead intact.

Matt Capps came on in the ninth to record his sixth save and the Twins ninth win, allowing just a single off the glove of Parmelee's glove at first. The Twins are now 2-3 on the home-stand with two more against Toronto this weekend.

Saturday P.J. Walters will make his Twins debut facing off against right hander Drew Hutchinson(1-1, 6.65). First pitch from Target Field scheduled for 6:10 p.m.

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