PITTSBURGH (AP) — Josh Willingham hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning and the Minnesota Twins scratched past the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Willingham took a fastball from Jason Grilli (1-2) over the wall in left field for his 14th homer of the season to break a tie as the Twins won for just the second time in their last seven games. Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his first save in place of injured closer Matt Capps.
Jared Burton (1-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Francisco Liriano, who pitched arguably his best game of the season, giving up one run and four hits in 6 2-3 innings. The left-hander struck out six and walked two.
Pittsburgh’s Erik Bedard overcame a shaky start to surrender one run over six innings but was long gone by the time Willingham notched the first homer given up by Grilli since April 17.