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pier missed on a drive at the other end
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins arent picky about how they get on base this season. And if the most-walked team in the majors can get more starting pitching performances as they did Saturday, the Twins likely wont mind their status as a middle-of-the-pack team when it comes to batting average. Phil Hughes struck out six in seven innings, Josmil Pinto hit his fifth homer of the season and the Twins scored two runs in the fifth without a hit in their 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday. Minnesota looked to be in for a long afternoon after Detroit took an early 2-0 lead and Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez handled the Twins early. But Sanchez left in the third with a blister on his middle finger on his throwing hand, forcing newly recalled Jose Ortega (0-1) into action. Ortega, who had just arrived from Triple-A Toledo, and Phil Coke then combined to walk six Twins -- five in the fifth. A throwing error by catcher Bryan Holaday and a bases-loaded walk by Coke allowed Minnesota, hitless at that point, to tie the game. Minnesota entered the game with a majors-leading 113 walks this season, and added eight more on Saturday. "As weve talked about many times now, were taking our walks and getting people on, and you score runs like that," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Thats a good way to go about your business." Especially with Hughes rolling. Hughes (2-1) didnt walk a batter, retired 16 straight at one point and has won two straight -- a welcome sight for a Twins rotation that had produced only six quality starts this season. Although he acknowledged the need for more innings from his starters, Gardenhire preached patience with his rotation earlier in the day, saying the team believes its starting pitchers will do well. For one afternoon, at least, Hughes gave his manager a glimpse of that. "Anytime your starter doesnt give you innings, its up to the next guy to kind of bounce back and hopefully save the bullpen a little bit," Hughes said a day after the Twins bullpen threw six-plus innings in Friday nights loss. Trevor Plouffes two-run single off Coke scored Eduardo Escobar and Brian Dozier put the Twins ahead for good in the fifth, and Pintos homer off Al Albuquerque in the eighth provided an insurance run. "It was a tough spot for the entire bullpen," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We were a little bit strapped going into today as it was. Sanchezs injury straps us even more." Detroit took a first-inning lead after Sam Fuld couldnt hang onto Miguel Cabreras fly to deep right, allowing Torii Hunter to score from first. Cabrera went to third on Fulds bad throw and scored on Victor Martinezs sacrifice fly. That was all the Tigers could muster against Hughes, though. The veteran right-hander made efficient work of Detroits lineup the next six innings. Jared Burton pitched a scoreless eighth and Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his sixth save in seven chances. "After the first I was coming apart a little bit, and not really staying within myself, overthrowing a little bit and coming out of my mechanics," Hughes said. "But I was able to settle down pretty quick and get on a little bit of a roll, which was nice." Martinez led off the ninth with a homer. Sanchez threw 53 pitches without allowing a hit and was in the middle of Doziers at-bat when Holaday, head trainer Kevin Rand and pitching coach Jeff Jones went to the mound. Shortly after being joined by Ausmus, Rand and Sanchez walked off the field. "It looked nasty, it really did," Ausmus said. "As soon as I went out there and saw it I was caught between throwing up and pulling him out of the game. It looked gross." Notes: Trevor Plouffe took a pitch off the arm in the fourth and later came out of the game. Gardenhire said he would be day to day. ... The Tigers optioned RHP Justin Miller -- who pitched two-thirds innings on Friday night and allowed a run and two hits -- to Toledo to make room for Ortega. "It had nothing to do with how Justin pitched last night. He had pitched well the previous two outings, it was just we needed help for the bullpen," Ausmus said. ... Ausmus says he plans to put C Alex Avila (shin) back into the lineup Sunday. Avila was hurt sliding into home plate on Friday. Ausmus reiterated RHP Rick Porcello (elbow) should make his next scheduled start Wednesday. Porcello was hurt after a line drive deflected off his glove and hit his throwing elbow. ... A day after his relievers threw 6 2-3 innings, Ron Gardenhire put starter Mike Pelfrey in the bullpen as "an emergency-type guy." Asked about tweaking his starting rotation, Gardenhire said, "Youve got to give them a little bit of time here. These guys are here for a reason, we think theyre going to be good and hopefully theyll get rolling and we dont have to have this conversation." . The Tigers and Twins wrap up their three-game series on Sunday when Justin Verlander (3-1) takes the mound for Detroit. Minnesota righty Kyle Gibson (3-1) will make his start against the Tigers for the first time. Stan Smith Uomo Saldi . Pierre last November, only to watch St. Pierre leave the UFC octagon with his welterweight title belt and a split-decision victory. Scarpe Stan Smith Scontate . The Brazilian driver had the second-best time in last months tests at Jerez and said the "good start" could play to his advantage when the season gets underway in Australia in March. http://www.stansmithscontate.it/. (AP) -- The head of the committee that developed Major League Baseballs plan to expand instant replay says he is optimistic the system will be in place this season, even though owners and unions for players and umpires have yet to approve. Stan Smith Outlet Italia .This one was bigger than most.Ben Roethlisberger and LeVeon Bell came up big in a game that Pittsburgh had to win Sunday, leading the Steelers to a 42-21 drubbing of the Cincinnati Bengals that left the AFC North race wide open. Stan Smith Scontate Uomo . Sterling was banned for life and fined US$2.5 million by the NBA on Tuesday for racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation. Nash, who plays for the rival L.A. Lakers, spoke as a representative of current NBA players at a press conference assembled by Sacramento mayor and National Basketball Players Association adviser Kevin Johnson.BUFFALO, N.Y. -- With Jim Calhoun watching from the stands, Shabazz Napier capped Connecticut coach Kevin Ollies first NCAA tournament appearance with a win. Shaking off a 23-foot miss at the second-half buzzer, Napier scored nine of his 24 points in overtime to lead seventh-seeded UConn (27-8) to an 89-81 win over 10th-seeded Saint Josephs (24-10) in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday night. DeAndre Daniels scored 18 while freshman centre Amida Brimah forced overtime by completing a three-point play in the final minute. It was a big victory for Ollie, who took over two years ago after Calhoun was forced to step down because of health issues. After the Huskies won three national titles in 26 seasons under Calhoun, Ollie became the first UConn coach to lead the program to a tournament berth since Dom Perno in 1979. And it came a year after Connecticut was barred from post-season play because of academic sanctions. Langston Galloway scored 25 points for Saint Josephs (24-10). The Hawks wore down because of a lack of depth, and then lost their top forward Halil Kanacevic, who fouled out early into overtime. The Huskies advance to play Saturday, when theyll face the winner of an East Region game between No. 2 seed Villanova and No. 15 Milwaukee. With the game tied at 70 entering overtime, Daniels opened the scoring by completed a three-point play with 3:47 left during a 5-minute period the Huskies never trailed. Napier then scored seven straight points -- five of them coming from the line -- to put the Huskies up 82-74 with 55 seconds remaining. The game turned in the final minute of regulation and after Hawks guard Chris Wilson hit two free throws to put Saint Joes up 70-67 with 49.dddddddddddd.2 seconds left. Napier missed on a drive at the other end, but Brimah got the rebound to the left of the basket, and was fouled while putting it back. He tied the game by hitting the free throw. Taking over with 39 seconds left, the Hawks never got a shot off on what became their final possession of regulation. Galloway twice lost the ball on the dribble, but got it back both times, before launching a desperation shot that hit off the side of the backboard as the shot clock expired. With 2.7 seconds left, the Huskies made two nifty passes to get the ball to Napier on the fly, who pulled up just before the 3-point line and had his shot hit off the rim. Losing Kanacevic was a costly blow for the Hawks, who have little depth beyond their starting five. Kanacevic finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. Freshman DeAndre Bembry scored 16 points for a Hawks team that won the Atlantic 10 tournament title last weekend. After hitting 13 of their first 20 baskets, the Hawks offence cooled. Saint Joes went 10 of 22 in the second half, and finished the game going 27 of 54. The Huskies were coming off a 71-61 loss to Louisville in the American Athletic Conference title game on Saturday. Theyve now won 10 of their past three, with two of those losses coming against Louisville. The opening nine minutes of the game featured eight lead changes before the Hawks eventually broke the game open by building a 37-27 lead with 3:09 left, when DeAndre Bembry hit two free throws. The Hawks hit 13 of their first 20 attempts and were up 40-32 before UConns Ryan Boatright hit a 3-point basket with 8 seconds left. 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