may have discovered a stunningly simple secret to success as a pinch hitter.
''A full mind is an empty bat,'' Morales said with a smile.
Morales' pinch-hit single scored
with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to lift the
to a 4-3 victory over the
Chicago White Sox
on Tuesday night.
The Twins' third catcher was recalled on Saturday and had not had an at-bat in the big leagues since July 11. But he looked
as if he was never gone when he roped a single to right-center field and immediately raised his arm as his teammates stormed
out of the dugout.
''I actually just take it like a regular at-bat,'' said Morales, who is 4 for 10 as a pinch hitter this year. ''I put too
much pressure on myself when I start thinking too much.''
didn't have too many options when he sent Morales to pinch hit for
. But he has plenty of confidence in the 26-year-old after former manager
called Morales ''the most professional hitter'' at Triple-A Rochester.
''I kind of take that to heart when T.K. says something like that,'' Gardenhire said. ''So you have a lot of confidence because
we've seen him do it up here so much.''
hit two homers and
was sharp in his first big league start for the Twins, who have won nine of 11 and remained 3 1/2 games behind Detroit in
the AL Central.
''We've played bad long enough this year,'' Gardenhire said. ''It's time to play good.''
Cuddyer tied his career high for homers in a season with 24 and continued his domination of
Cuddyer is hitting .481 (13 for 27) with four homers and 10 RBIs in his career against Danks. He hit solo homers in the fifth
inning to tie the game and in the seventh to give the Twins a 3-1 lead.
But the normally reliable duo of
faltered in the eighth. Mijares walked
to lead off the inning and
followed with a two-run homer off Guerrier to tie the game 3-3.
had a solo homer in the fifth for the
, the only mistake Manship made on the night. He allowed four hits with two strikeouts and two walks in five solid innings.
''It's not easy,'' Beckham said. ''But I think we're still fighting, we're working as hard as we can to win. It's just not
working out. We can't find ways to win right now.''
Danks allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings for Chicago, which has lost five in a row.
''I didn't make very good pitches to Cuddyer and he's a hitter, a guy that will hit those pitches a long way like he did tonight,''
Danks said. ''I've got to get better in that regard.''
(2-0) pitched one inning for the win.
The fact that Manship was on the hill in September against the division rival
shows just how decimated the Twins' starting rotation has been by injury and inconsistency this season.
are on the disabled list, and despite the patchwork job manager
has had to do with young arms, the Twins sent starter
to Triple-A Rochester after his stint on the disabled list because he has been unreliable in the rotation this season.
''Manship was super for us,'' Gardenhire said. ''He controlled the game.''
After losing their fourth straight game and eighth in the last nine on Monday night to fall six games behind Detroit in the
AL Central race, the
appeared to raise the white flag.
traded two of the most respected veterans in the clubhouse after the loss to the Twins. Slugger
went to the
Los Angeles Dodgers
''Everybody has to play better and pick it up a notch,'' manager
said. ''But a white flag? No.''
NOTES: It was Cuddyer's fifth career two-homer game and third this season. ... Podsednik made a wonderful diving catch on
a gapper by
in the second inning. ... Twins CF
hit his ninth triple this year, which is tied for the lead in the American League.