MINNEAPOLIS - In what began as a familiar script, the Minnesota Twins dug themselves an early hole by giving up two runs in the first inning, but they chipped away at the visiting Philadelphia Phillies and beat them 4-3 at Target Field on Wednesday.
For the second time in two nights, the Twins came back in the eighth inning to defeat the Phillies in dramatic fashion.
The Twins' Clete Thomas, who was recently called up and has been playing for the injured Aaron Hicks in centerfield, went 4-for-4 on the night with an RBI double. He teamed with another recent addition to the outfield, rookie Oswaldo Arcia (3-for-4 with a double), to provide all of the Twins' runs.
Down 3-1 in the sixth, Arcia singled to left and Thomas followed suit. Arcia went to third on Eduardo Escobar's sacrifice bunt and scored on Pedro Florimon's grounder out to relief pitcher Joe Savery.
In the eighth, the pair combined for the tying run with back-to-back doubles-Thomas' second of the game. Eduardo Escobar then bunted for a base hit to move Thomas to third, and Thomas scored the game-winner on a wild pitch to pinch hitter Chris Parmelee by Justin De Fratus.
Until that point, good pitching dominated the game, with both starters doing what they needed to give their respective chance to win.
Phillies starter Tyler Cloyd pitched himself into trouble early-giving up one earned run on six hits, three walks and two strike outs-but he pitched his way out of it and kept his team in the game.
Twins starter Mike Pelfrey, just over a year removed from Tommy John surgery, had his best performance (and longest outing) of the season-even though he did not figure in the decision. Reliever Brian Duensing got the win for the second night in a row.
Pelfrey lasted 7.0 innings and threw 112 pitches, giving up five hits, walked one and struck out seven batters. He had good command of his pitches all game.
The Twins got decent relief from the bullpen and in the ninth inning, closer Glen Perkins came into the game to pick up his 15th save.
The Phillies got the benefit of an early blown call when Ben Revere beat out a grounder to third baseman Jamey Carroll, who made a diving play on the ball. Revere scored on Dominic Brown's sacrifice fly to left.
The Phillies added another run in the first when Delmon Young singled to knock in Jimmy Rollins for a quick 2-0 lead.
The Twins continued to struggle at the plate with runners in scoring position, stranding five runners on base in the first two innings.
Phillies starter Tyler Cloyd scattered three hits and two walks and held the home team scoreless in the early going. But in the fourth, the Twins bats woke up with three straight hits to start the inning.
Oswaldo Arcia scored from first on Clete Thomas' double to center. But Cloyd struck out Pedro Florimon and then induced an inning-ending double play to limit the damage to one run.
Twins hurler Mike Pelfrey gave up three hits and two runs in the first inning, but then settled down to retire 12 straight Philly batters.
The 13th batter, Michael Young, hit a two-out double to the right-field corner and then scored on Revere's bloop single to short center for a 3-1 lead.
NOTES: Since the inception of interleague play, the Phillies have hit an NL-leading 319 home runs and scored 1,285 runs (second in the NL) in those games. ... The Twins are 164-133 all-time in interleague play. The 164 wins are fourth best. ... Philadelphia has an all-time record of 124-153 in interleague play. ... Twins catcher Joe Mauer's .326 career batting average in interleague play is eighth best all-time and third best among active players behind Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki.