Stewart fuels Twins' comeback vs. Crew

Stewart fuels Twins' comeback

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins have been on a tremendous roll of late, but on Saturday night it appeared that it was going to come to an end.

That's because in the midst of an eight-game win streak, the breaks that had gone the way of the Twins suddenly weren't there.

Balls were being lost in the roof for some bloop singles, hits by the Brewers seemed to find every hole in the infield, and for the first time in more than a week, the Twins were trailing in a game.

Yet like any team that has been streaking for as long as the Twins have, they had a sense that something good was going to happen. And just like it has in the majority the club's past 18 games, it did.

Behind by one run in the bottom of the eighth, the Twins managed to find a way to reel off their ninth straight victory by tallying four runs, including three off closer Derrick Turnbow, to defeat the Brewers, 10-7, at the Metrodome.

"I was in the training room and we were losing, 7-6, but I know we are going to come back and that's exactly what happened," starter Carlos Silva said. "It's good when you have that feeling for the team. You're losing, but at any time you know these guys are going to score some runs."

The Twins have taken care of their share of quality closers this season, and on Saturday night before a raucous crowd of 35,056, they added Turnbow to that list.

Turnbow entered the game with two outs in the eighth and the tying run at second. The Twins had similar situations to knot the game up in earlier innings and saw them quickly disappear. And watching the first two swings of Michael Cuddyer as he got into a quick 0-2 count made it seem like this would be the case once again.

"When they brought in Turnbow, you're thinking, 'This can't be good,' because the guy throws 98 [mph] with a heck of a forkball," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But it just wasn't his night."

Cuddyer put together a classic at-bat, taking three straight balls before finally delivering on a fastball down in the zone with a triple to the gap in left-center field. Then, with the game tied up at 7, Turnbow (4-4) imploded. The Brewers closer issued an intentional walk to Justin Morneau before hitting Torii Hunter with a pitch to load the bases. He then delivered a four-pitch walk to Shannon Stewart that scored the go-ahead run and pretty much secured the Twins' victory.

Jason Kubel would add a two-run single to center to make it a 10-7 ballgame before Joe Nathan entered in the ninth and picked up his 14th save of the year.

It took a quality comeback for the Twins to pick up their 17th win in their last 18 games.

After having taken a 2-0 lead in the first, the Twins found themselves in a see-saw battle with the Brewers for the rest of the night. Part of that was due to a rough night on the mound for Silva.

Defensive miscues took a toll on the pitcher starting in a three-run third inning by the Brewers. That's when a rough night began in left field for Kubel.

Kubel would lose one ball in the lights and roof in the third, which started a scoring run for the Brewers and gave them a 3-2 lead. He would have trouble again in the fifth, when he misplayed a ball out to left that created a four-run inning.

The roof at the Metrodome has taken its fair share of tolls on many players, and this night appeared to be Kubel's turn.

"He was a little flustered, a little upset at himself," Gardenhire said. "He wants to do very well. We talked to him in the dugout and said, 'You're working your tail off, this is the hardest ballpark to play in as far as the roof goes -- the roof, the lights, the whole package.' It's not easy out there."

Despite making some mistakes in the outfield, Kubel produced at the plate. He delivered a career-high four hits, including the single in the eighth that gave the Twins a three-run cushion.

"I was real mad about [the defensive miscues], but I didn't want to let it affect the rest of my game," Kubel said. "I was just trying to do what I could to get us back into it."

But it wasn't just Kubel who helped to carry the Twins' offensive load. In his first start since returning from the disabled list, Stewart clearly made his presence felt as he went 4-for-4 with an RBI and a walk to help the club capture its seventh straight series victory.

"It was a big night for him to get back in the lineup," Gardenhire said. "You saw a little bit of what he is going bring to the ball club if he continues to swing like that."

And while several players helped create the late rally, something out of the team's hands may have provided the real spark. Just before the eighth inning started, a change on the out-of-town scoreboard popped up to indicate that the Tigers had lost to Pittsburgh, 9-2.

Having picked up only a half-game during the club's recent winning streak, as Detroit has continued to win with the same amount of consistency as the Twins, Minnesota knew that this was no time to sit back and take a loss.

"I saw that, and that's when you want to win because you have to pick up a game," Nick Punto said. "We're still 10 out, so we need to pick up as many as we can."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.