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Bullpen blows save in ninth; Twins fall in extras

After Perkins allows two runs, Deduno's wild pitch yields winner

CHICAGO -- It was an ugly game on a cold day at U.S. Cellular Field that featured a little bit of everything, including the Twins' first replay challenge of the season, Glen Perkins' first blown save of the year and ultimately Samuel Deduno's first relief appearance since 2011 that ended on a walk-off wild pitch in the 11th inning.

The Twins entered the bottom of the ninth with a two-run lead and their All-Star closer on the mound, but Perkins couldn't seal the win, giving up two runs to send the game to extras. Deduno didn't fare much better in the 11th, as he gave up the winning run on a wild pitch with Adam Dunn at the plate to keep the Twins winless on the year through the first two games with a 7-6 defeat to the White Sox.

"A tough loss," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "A lot of things happened in that game with some missed opportunities from us and some fundamentals that didn't get done. Ultimately, you get the lead and get the ball to your closer and you feel pretty good about it. It just didn't work out, and we couldn't finish the game off."

Deduno seemed to be in control facing Leury Garcia to open the inning, starting him off with two strikes before Garcia dropped down a risky bunt that stayed just fair down the third-base line. Deduno then balked Garcia to second base before a wild pitch allowed Garcia to reach third.

The Twins opted to intentionally walk Jose Abreu with two outs to get to Dunn, but on a 3-2 offering to the slugger, Deduno uncorked a wild pitch past Kurt Suzuki that allowed Garcia to score the winning run.

"I just missed a couple pitches, and my curveball wasn't very good against the last hitter," Deduno said. "I just missed on a lot of pitches."

It came after Perkins entered with a two-run lead in the ninth but couldn't protect it, giving up the first run on a one-out RBI single to Garcia. Perkins then got Adam Eaton to hit a grounder to third baseman Trevor Plouffe, but Plouffe's throw home was off-line, allowing Dayan Viciedo to score the tying run.

"They kept grinding, even being down, the offense fighting back," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It was just a great job by these guys with quality at-bats.

The Twins entered the seventh inning trailing, 3-2, and they were just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, but Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham drew back-to-back walks to open the frame to set the stage for an RBI double from Jason Kubel off reliever Nate Jones with nobody out.

Plouffe followed with a go-ahead two-run single to right field for his third hit of the afternoon. Oswaldo Arcia followed with what was originally ruled a catch by Eaton in center field, but it was overturned after a challenge by Gardenhire -- his first of the season. But the Twins didn't score after the review, as Plouffe was thrown out at home by left fielder Alejandro De Aza trying to advance on a single from Aaron Hicks.

Right-hander Kevin Correia was in line for his first win of the year before Perkins blew the save, as the right-hander lasted six innings, surrendering three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Gardenhire and Correia both said the lengthy review that lasted roughly five minutes led to Correia being removed from the game after just 82 pitches.

"It wasn't really a situation where I couldn't go out there, but when it's 35 degrees and I don't know how long that inning was taking anyways, it pretty much came down to that review," Correia said. "Without that review, I would've gone back out. Even though it went our way, we didn't get anything else out of it, and I had to come out of the game."

The White Sox did all of their damage against Correia in the second inning, with Alexei Ramirez lacing a two-run double down the left-field line with nobody out. Eaton also added a sacrifice fly.

Right-hander Felipe Paulino, making his first start since June 6, 2012, after undergoing Tommy John surgery, was also saddled with a no-decision after Chicago's bullpen didn't protect a one-run lead. Paulino went 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts.

The Twins took an early lead against Paulino in the second, when Pedro Florimon drew a bases loaded walk. Minnesota scored again in the third on a one-out RBI single from Plouffe to score Kubel, who doubled down the right-field line.

The White Sox made it a one-run game with a solo blast from Dunn in the eighth off reliever Jared Burton, but the Twins added a temporary insurance run on a Suzuki RBI double in the ninth. But it wasn't enough given the struggles of the bullpen, which was the club's strongest suit last season.

"We put enough runs on the board, let's put it that way," Gardenhire said. "We just didn't finish off the ballgame."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.
Read More: Minnesota Twins, Kevin Correia, Glen Perkins, Samuel Deduno, Trevor Plouffe