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Published May 04, 2010, 10:33 PM

Twins notch third straight win, 4-3

Ninth-inning comeback extends division lead over Tigers

By: Jon Krawczynski , Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS - Hours after learning beloved Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell had died, Detroit lost to the Minnesota Twins 4-3 Tuesday night on J.J. Hardy's stellar ninth inning.

Hardy saved a run with a brilliant defensive play at shortstop in the top of the ninth, then tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the bottom half.

The Twins lead Detroit by two-and-a-half games in the AL Central.

Brennan Boesch's homer in the ninth tied it for the Tigers and Alex Avila hit a two-out double. Hardy made a brilliant, sliding stop on grounder by Ramon Santiago and threw out Avila after he rounded third base too quickly.

Winning pitcher Nick Blackburn allowed 11 hits, struck out two and walked one in his fourth career complete game.

Jim Thome had an RBI double and Delmon Young had two hits and an RBI for the Twins, who were missing MVP Joe Mauer for the fourth straight game. Mauer is out with a bruised left heel and is listed as day-to-day after an MRI exam showed no structural damage.

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