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Published: Friday, 5/15/2009

Crede caps Twins' rally as Tigers fall


MINNEAPOLIS - Joe Crede saw a lot of these comebacks by Minnesota from the other side.

Participation is a lot more fun.

Crede capped another Twins rally with a two-run, two-out single in a six-run seventh inning. Minnesota overcame a five-run deficit and Justin Verlander's career-high 13 strikeouts, completing a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers with a 6-5 victory yesterday.

"They just play well here, and we've been able to continue that this year," said Crede, who signed with Minnesota in February after back problems ended his tenure with the rival Chicago White Sox.

His blooper into shallow center against struggling reliever Zach Miner, who loaded the bases with a walk to Michael Cuddyer, put the Twins ahead about 14 1/2 hours after his grand slam in the 13th ended Wednesday night's game.

The Twins were so pesky with bunts, steals and high choppers in recent seasons that Crede's old manager, Ozzie Guillen, famously dubbed them "The Piranhas." But Crede's arrival, Cuddyer's return from injuries, Jason Kubel's development and Joe Mauer's surge this month have not only deepened the lineup but made it more powerful.

Still, Verlander was cruising with a 5-0 lead and fanned Crede on a high heater to start the seventh, but he needed 122 pitches to get through 61/3 innings and was removed for Bobby Seay (0-1) after a single and a walk.

Matt Tolbert's walk forced in the first run, Mauer knocked in another with a grounder and Justin Morneau cut the lead to 5-3 on a sharp single. Kubel's double pulled Minnesota within one, prompting Tigers manager Jim Leyland to summon Miner, who has walked nine in his last 13 innings.

"Shame to lose that game. Need eight outs, and we can't get them," said Leyland, who called Verlander's performance "tremendous."

Seay took the blame.

"Command was terrible. Pitch selection was brutal. I pretty much had nothing," he said.

After a five-run, two-out rally by the Tigers in the sixth against starter Scott Baker, Minnesota's bullpen held up. Craig Breslow (1-1) got five outs for his first major league victory, Matt Guerrier got one and Joe Nathan notched his sixth save with a perfect ninth.

MINNEAPOLIS - It took 13 innings, four hours and 48 minutes, but Joe Crede's two-out, two-strike grand slam gave the Twins a 14-10 victory over the Tigers just before midnight Wednesday - long after Dontrelle Willis made his first start of the season for Detroit.

Willis gave up eight hits, four runs and two walks in 42/3

innings, but it was a decent start considering all he's come back from. He was sent to Class A last year to work on his control, and he had been on the disabled list this spring due to an anxiety disorder.

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