The Twins Continue Their Winning Ways

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Photo: AP

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Drew Butera’s single scored Delmon Young in the bottom of the ninth as the Minnesota Twins rallied to beat the San Diego Padres 5-4 on Sunday and extend their winning streak to seven games.Young led off the ninth with an infield single and advanced to second on Luke Hughes’ sacrifice bunt.

Butera’s grounder bounced off the glove of diving third-baseman Chase Headley and into left field, allowing Young to score.

Alex Burnett (2-4) pitched one inning for the win. Chad Qualls (3-3) took the loss.

After the Twins scored three unearned runs to take a 4-3 lead in the seventh, the Padres tied it on Will Venable’s infield single in the eighth. Reliever Glen Perkins was late getting off the mound to cover first on Venable’s grounder to the right side.

Pinch-hitter Rene Tosoni tied the game in the seventh on a double down the first-base line. Matt Tolbert briefly gave the Twins the lead with a double to left-centre.

The rally was made possible by Headley’s throwing error that put runners on second and third with one out.

Twins starter Francisco Liriano did not surrender a hit until there was one out in the fourth inning. He struck out eight over seven innings.

The Padres strung together three infield hits in the fifth inning to score twice and take a 3-1 lead.

San Diego failed to make solid contact much of the afternoon, but at this point, the Padres will take runs however they can get them. They came in hitting .220 and scoring just 76 runs over their last 29 games.

Starter Dustin Moseley has received the third-lowest run support in the majors this season, but exited leading 3-1 in the seventh. He allowed three runs — one earned — in 6 1-3 innings.

The Padres activated Orlando Hudson from the disabled before the game, and the former Twin had two hits and scored a run.

Minnesota has climbed back into the AL Central race on the back of its strong starting pitching. Entering Sunday, Twins starters had a 1.73 ERA since June 2. The Twins were 16½ games out of first at the beginning of June and eight back coming into Sunday’s game.

Notes: The Padres optioned Logan Forsythe to Triple-A Tucson to make room for Hudson. Forsythe was hitting .167. … Twins 1b Justin Morneau will have a cast removed from his left wrist on Friday or Saturday. He will need a couple of more days to regain his range of motion before being re-evaluated. … Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said there was a “good chance” injured closer Joe Nathan could rejoin the team on Friday. … The banged-up Twins played without 3b Danny Valencia, who homered in consecutive games but sat out the series finale with an arm strain.

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