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Hometown kid Thielbar earns first career win

Hometown kid Thielbar earns first career win

MINNEAPOLIS -- Left-handed reliever Caleb Thielbar, a Randolph, Minn. native, won his first career game on Saturday by pitching a scoreless ninth inning before Ryan Doumit's walk-off two-run triple in the bottom of the inning gave the Twins a 5-4 win.

On Friday, Thielbar pitched in front of his home crowd for the first time, and tossed a scoreless ninth against the Mariners.

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It was a special moment for Thielbar, who was able to shake off the jitters of pitching at Target Field and tossed a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts in front of a large group of family and friends.

"It was cool," said Thielbar, who went to Randolph High School and played collegiately at South Dakota State. "I had a lot of people there that I knew. So it was just a fun time. I heard a little too much crowd noise so I need to work on that, but overall it was just a fun experience. But I'm glad to get it over with."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was happy for Thielbar, and has been impressed by the reliever so far. The lefty has yet to give up an earned run -- although he allowed three inherited runs to score in his previous outing against the Tigers on Sunday -- with nine strikeouts and two walks over 7 1/3 innings.

"It was nice to get him in a ballgame here," Gardenhire said. "It was fun to let him get back out there. He hadn't been out there in a few days."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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