"I hit a couple of balls like that against St. Louis here last year, so I thought I had a shot at it. Run hard out of the box and see what happens."It marked the first blown save of the season for Nathan, who was 13-for-13 in save opportunities coming into Tuesday's contest. But while Nathan appeared to be as agitated as anyone by the play, he recovered to record the final two outs of the ninth. "You just pitch, that's all you've got to do," said Nathan. "I've always said there are times you are going to go out there and make good pitches and the results won't be in your favor. I felt good out there. I felt like I was making pitches. It was just a first-pitch, lazy fly ball that he just happened to put it in a good spot." Teahen's homer also ruined Blackburn's chance for a victory on what had been his best performance of the year.
Blackburn cruised through the majority of his outing. He held the Royals scoreless through eight innings and scattered just eight hits on the night. He had no problems finding the plate, throwing 75 of his 92 pitches for strikes."I finally felt sharp up on the mound," Blackburn said. "Everything felt like it was coming out of my hand well tonight. It doesn't really matter about being a factor in the decision. I kept my team in it, and that's basically all a starter is asked to do. Overall, we won and that's most important right now." The team's 12th-inning comeback did help take some of the sting out of the events in the ninth inning. The rally began after Joe Mauer drew a one-out walk against Royals right-hander Leo Nunez. The Royals then had their own blunder in left field as Jose Guillen missed a ball hit there by Justin Morneau. The miscue by Guillen allowed Mauer to advance to third on Morneau's single. And when Guillen threw to third in an attempt to nab Mauer, Morneau advanced to second. The play set up the winning run. Michael Cuddyer came up with the big hit, a single to right that scored Mauer from third and put the Twins in line for the victory. But while it will show up as an important mark in the left-hand column for Minnesota, it was a win that left most of the Twins clubhouse looking somber rather than jubilant. "I'm having a hard time with this one because I'm just so disappointed," Gardenhire said. "We won the ballgame and kept playing, but it sure was disappointing there in the ninth. ... It was really disappointing to not see it end there, because we had pitched so well up to that point."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.