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Matinee madness: Twins blow lead, Mauer five-hit game in extra inning loss

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Some days it's not easy being a Twins fan, and today would rank right up there on that list.

With a 7-3 lead and everything going smoothly at Target Field, reliever Casey Fien took the ball for the eighth inning. He retired one Cleveland Indian batter, but only after giving up four runs, including a three-run game tying home run to Jason Giambi, before being yanked by manager Ron Gardenhire.

The Twins could not muster a response and the game went to extra innings, where Indians catcher Carlos Santana went deep for Cleveland, only to be answered by Joe Mauer who also hit a solo blast. Mauer had five hits of the Twins 17 total, but the final blow in a 9-8 loss was a Michael Brantley sacrifice fly in the 12th, sending fans home unhappy after Minnesota went quietly in the bottom half of the inning.

Reliever Ryan Pressly (3-3) took the loss after relieving closer Glen Perkins, who gave up the home run to Santana, and Indians closer Chris Perez (5-2) got the win despite giving up the home run to Mauer.

Twin starter Kyle Gibson struck out three in 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs, and was in in line for the win until Fien's implosion.

Justin Morneau, who cleared waivers earlier in the day, had two hits, while Mauer's final stat line was a staggering 5-7 at the plate, while collecting 4 RBI.

The Twins open a four game series with the White Sox tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. with Mike Pelfrey taking the hill for Minnesota, he'll oppose Chicago's Andre Rienzo, who is making his fourth career start.

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