(Photo courtesy of Mike Berardino)
Glen Perkins blew a three-run lead in the ninth but the Twins found a way to squeak out 12-inning win over the Astros, 9-6 in Houston Tuesday night.
Only 13,500 fans attended the game, and most of them were gone before it ended.
The Astros were one out away from loss No. 93, but Perkins served up a game-tying three-run, opposite field home run to Brandon Barnes on an 0-2 pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning.
That's right. Perkins -- an All-Star closer -- blew a game against the worst team in baseball by giving up a home run to a rookie with a .245 batting average and just seven home runs.
Fortunately, the Astros are really good at losing and really bad at carrying momentum over from one inning to the next.
Clete Thomas scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the 12th and Darrin Mastroianni delivered a two-run double to seal the deal for Minnesota.
Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe homered for the Twins. Plouffe went 4-for-6 at the plate. Dozier has homered in three of the last five games.
The homers by Dozier and Plouffe gave the Twins a 4-1 lead, which the Astros cut to one in the seventh.
Minnesota padded the lead with a pair of runs in the eighth. The first coming on an RBI double by rookie Alex Presley, and the second courtesy of a sacrifice fly by Mastroianni.
Presley finished with two hits in the game. Fellow rookie Josmil Pinto went 4-for-5. Pinto has six hits in his first two career games.
Pedro Hernandez started the game and left after allowing two runs on six hits in six innings. He didn't factor in the decision.
The Twins go for the sweep in Houston Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. CT. Minnesota is 5-0 against the Astros this season.