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September 26, 2008 at 2:20 am ET
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Round 3: TKO (Twins Knock Out)

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Nearly two weeks ago, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was asked about Minnesota’s “piranhas” and commented that “I got the feeling they don’t have any teeth left,” andテつafter Chicago went up 6-1 in the 4th at the Metrodome last night it appeared that Guillen may have been right.

Twins starter Kevin Slowey had retired the first 10 batters he faced before the roof caved in with misplays in right-center and third and an error on Slowey had that Minnesota down 5 in the most important game of the season.

But that was before the piranhas began to nibble.

A Carlos Gomez triple and Denard Span double made the score 6-3 after 4.

Then Span sacrificed Gomez home in the 6th after Andale’s second triple of the night to make the score 5-4.

Later in the 8th, Brendan Harris doubled, moved to third on a ground out and scored on Gomez’s fourth hit of the night, a soft liner to right off of White Sox closer Bobby Jenks that cut the deficit to one, 6-5.テつ Go-Go’s knock set up the biggest at-bat of Span’s young career, and the Splendid Sprinter didn’t disappoint, lacing a triple into the right field corner that plated a blurring Gomez to tie the game at 6.テつ 43,000 fans lept to their feet as the ball passed Paul Konerko and it was the sweetest sound these ears have heard in a long time.

Joe Nathan came on to pitch not only the 9th but the 10th as well, and retired all six batters that he faced.テつ And with Jenks on the mound for his third inning of work, Nick Punto drew a walk, moved to second on a ground out, took third on an errant pitch and scored on a two-out single off the bat of Alexi Casilla — who had been hitless on the night prior to the 10th.

Kevin Slowey had to leave the game in the 4th after being hit by a line drive, the defense misplayed some balls, the club left runners on early in the game and the bullpen had to pick up 7.1 critical frames.テつ Not only did the pen step up and give the Twins a chance to win — Matt Guerrier, Dennys Reyes, Boof Bonser, Jesse Crain, Craig Breslow and Nathan only allowed four base runners to one of most powerful line-up’s in the American League.

And one night after Nathan notched the 200th save of his career, he picked up his first win of the 2008 season — a victory that put the Twins in first place with just three games to go.

Down 5 with just 18 outs remaining and behind in the standings by half a game the Twins never quit.テつ The piranhas scratched and clawed and fought and gnawed until they not only got back in the game, but won it.

And it was the piranhas, not the M&MVP Boys that did the damage.テつ Joe Mauer may have had three hits but his RBI came in the first and the All-Star catcher didn’t score a single run, while Johnny Canuck stranded three while going hitless on the night.

Span and Gomez, though combined to go 7-for-9 with 3 triples, 4 runs and 5 RBI while Alexi Casilla drove in the game-winner that was scored by Nickie Punto.

The Minnesota Twins are now in first place by half a game with three to play and will face off against the Kansas City Royals in a series that begins tomorrow night.テつ The Twins are 11-4 against KC this season and will send “The Franchise”, Francisco Liriano to the mound in the opener withテつMinnesota’s Magic Number at 4.

After the Twins clinched their first playoff spot in 11 years with their 2002 Central division championship, Dick Bremer’s voice cracked with emotion when he asked Bert Blyleven if it was too much to ask that the club win 11 more.テつ Six years later the question becomes is it too much to ask that this club wins 3 more?

The answer will unfold this weekend but we already know the truth to one question — Ozzie Guillen now knows that the piranhas still have teeth — and they are very sharp.

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One Response to “Round 3: TKO (Twins Knock Out)”
  1. X-Factor says:

    How did they do it? I don’t know. I just am thrilled.

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