Minneapolis, MN – Josh Willingham ripped a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Twins to an 8-7 victory over the Cubs in the opener of a three-game interleague set at Target Field.
After Justin Morneau tied the game in the ninth with an RBI triple, Darin Mastroianni worked a leadoff walk in the 10th, moved to second on a bunt from Ben Revere, and reached third on Jamey Carroll's swinging-bunt single.
Willingham then stepped to the plate and scorched a Shawn Camp (2-3) sinker down the third-base line to plate Mastroianni and give the Twins their fifth win in their last six tries.
"I wasn't really thinking of anything," admitted Willingham. "I usually get in trouble when I start thinking. I was just trying to get a pitch to hit and not try to do too much with it."
Matt Capps (1-3) got the win after tossing a scoreless top of the 10th. Trevor Plouffe homered in the fourth and Ryan Doumit added a solo shot that gave the Twins a 6-5 lead in the seventh.
Alfonso Soriano belted two home runs, including a mammoth two-run blast that gave the Cubs a brief 7-6 lead in the eighth. Starlin Castro added a two-run shot in defeat as the Cubs dropped their third straight contest.
The game was knotted at 5-5 in the seventh when Doumit broke the tie with a two-out solo shot to left to give the Twins their first lead of the game.
The lead was short-lived however, as David DeJesus singled to start the eighth and Soriano followed by crushing a slider deep into the third deck in left.
The Twins battled back in the ninth against Camp as Willingham led off the frame with a single before Morneau crushed a triple off the wall in center to score Willingham and knot the game at 7-7.
"It was one of those games where it was a battle," said Cubs starter Travis Wood, who lasted just five innings. "Unfortunately we weren't able to pull it out. It's just one of those nights."
Earlier in the first inning, Castro ripped a one-out triple and scored on a sacrifice fly from DeJesus. Soriano's 10th homer of the year made it 2-0.
The Twins got one back in the second as Chris Parmelee led off with a single and Plouffe followed with a walk. A Brian Dozier fly out then moved Parmelee to third before he crossed home on Mastroianni's base hit to left.
Minnesota pulled even in the fourth on Plouffe's eighth homer of the year, but Chicago struck for three in the next half inning to take a 5-2 lead.
Ian Stewart tripled to start the fifth and scored on Reed Johnson's single. Castro then belted his fifth homer of the year into the left-field seats to give the Cubs a three-run edge.
The Twins answered with a run in the bottom half as Revere singled to start the frame and quickly scored on Carroll's double to right.
Minnesota pulled even in the sixth with a pair of two-out runs. Plouffe sparked the rally with a double and came around to score on Dozier's single to right. Mastroianni then followed with a triple to center, plating Dozier and knotting the game at 5-5.
Wood gave up three runs on six hits and three walks over five frames...Minnesota starter P.J. Walters allowed five runs on eight hits and a walk over five innings of work...Soriano has now homered in nine straight series, becoming the first Cub to accomplish the feat since Sammy Sosa had a 12-series run in 2003...Target Field is the 120th different ballpark that the Cubs have played in since their inception in 1876...The Twins last loss to the Cubs at home was July 15, 2000 when Kevin Tapani beat Joe Mays in the Metrodome.