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Twins beat Yankees in 11 innings

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An errant throw from Yankees’ catcher Francisco Cervelli allowed the Twins to celebrate, snapping a seven-game home losing streak to the Yankees with a 2-1 victory in 11 innings on Saturday at Target Field.

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With the bases loaded and one out, Cervelli tried to complete an inning-ending double play by throwing out third baseman Trevor Plouffe at first base, but his throw sailed into right field, allowing Josh Willingham to score from second with the winning run.

Though not your ordinary victory, Willingham – who scored both of the Twins’ runs – said every win is a pretty one.

“Any time you can take advantage of somebody else’s mistake, it’s good,” said Willingham, who also hit a solo home run in the seventh inning.

“That play isn’t typically how you end the game, but it was good enough to get us a win.”

In the 11th, Chris Colabello, pinch hitting for first baseman Chris Parmelee, led off the with a towering double that came inches from going over the right field wall and ending the game.

Colabello advanced to third on a grounder by designated hitter Kendrys Morales. With one out, the Yankees intentionally walked Willingham. Then, right fielder Oswaldo Arcia was hit by a pitch loading the bases, bringing Plouffe up with a chance to win the game.

Plouffe tapped a come-backer to Yankees’ pitcher Matt Thornton, who threw home to force Colabello out, but Cervelli couldn’t complete the double play.

“It was a game that seemed like it was going to go on forever,” said Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who is playing his final series at Target Field. “Opportunities were few and far between, but they capitalized on a mistake and beat us. Sometimes you have to give credit to the other side.”

Heading into the game, the Twins had not beaten the Yankees at Target Field since Sept. 25, 2012. The Yankees are 13-4 all time at Target Field.

“A win is a win,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who was ejected in the third inning by home plate umpire Marty Foster. “We were desperate. We needed that.”

The Twins were backed by a quality start from Yohan Pino and five scoreless innings of relief in the victory.

Pino gave the Twins their first quality start of the series, going six innings and allowing one run and three hits and striking out three.

It was Pino’s first-ever start against the Yankees. The 30-year-old Venezuelan rookie entered the game 0-2 with a 6.32 ERA in three appearances for the Twins.

“I just tried to concentrate and keep the ball down,” Pino said. “I’ve worked a lot in my bullpens. I concentrated on every pitch, executed and I did it.

“I’m happy because we won today. We needed that. We’ll try to do the same next time.”

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