8th Inning Homer Pushes Twins Past Pirates, 2-1

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Josh Willingham blasted a solo home run to left field in the eighth inning Wednesday night to give Minnesota a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The homer came off Pirates reliever Jason Grilli, who got the loss. It’s the third home run he’s surrendered this season.

The loss put a damper on a stellar performance from Pirates starting pitcher Erik Bedard, who pitched six innings and allowed just one run on four hits while striking out seven batters.

Twins starter Francisco Liriano was just as good, throwing 6 2/3 innings. He allowed just one Pittsburgh (35-32) run on four hits. He lowered his ERA to 5.74 on the season.

Minnesota (27-40) jumped ahead of the Pirates early, as Trevor Plouffe singled and drove home Willingham for a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

That score held until the bottom of the seventh, when Rod Barajas drove in Pedro Alvarez on a sacrifice fly to center field to tie the game, 1-1.

Willingham answered quickly in the top of the eighth, which turned out to be the winning run.

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