Justin Morneau ripped a go-ahead single in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Minnesota Twins to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies Tuesday in the opener of a three-game set at Target Field.
The Phillies tied the game in the top of the eighth on Ryan Howard's two-out base hit to right, but the Twins quickly answered in the bottom half, as Mike Adams (1-4) issued a leadoff walk to Jamey Carroll before serving up a single to Joe Mauer.
"If I can get that first batter out of the way then I'm fine," Adams said. "It seems like after the first batter, it's a totally different pitcher and it's just frustrating that it's putting me in a bad situation every time I go out there."
After Ryan Doumit's fielder's choice left runners on the corners, Adams got Josh Willingham to pop out into foul territory for the second out.
Left-hander Antonio Bastardo then entered from the bullpen to face Morneau, who fouled off four pitches before scorching a fastball back up the middle to score Carroll for the deciding run.
Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his 14th save, while Brian Duensing (1-1) was credited with the win, despite giving up Howard's game- tying single in the eighth.
Morneau finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while Oswaldo Arcia added a run-scoring double for the Twins, who had lost four of their last five coming into the contest.
Michael Young knocked in the other run for the Phillies, who have lost four straight on the heels of a five-game winning streak.
Starting pitching was the story for most of the night, as Philadelphia's Cole Hamels and the Twins' P.J. Walters both pitched effectively early on.
Hamels held the Twins to just two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts over six frames, while Walters yielded just two runs -- one earned -- on six hits over 7 1/3 strong innings.
With the Twins holding a 2-1 edge, Walters ran into trouble in the eighth, serving up a pair of singles around a Young strikeout to spell the end of his outing.
Duensing took over and fanned Jimmy Rollins for the second out, but Howard stroked a single through the right side of the infield to tie the game.
"Our starter was fantastic, threw the ball great, and gave us a great opportunity," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Walters. "Unfortunately we couldn't hold it there, but a good baseball game."
Early on, the Phillies grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third when Young's two-out single scored John Mayberry, who reached on an error to start the frame.
The Twins answered in the fourth, as Willingham and Morneau clubbed back-to- back doubles, with the latter plating the former to knot the game at 1-1.
Arcia then launched a two-bagger of his own off the base of the wall in straightaway center to score Morneau for a 2-1 edge.
Philadelphia center fielder Ben Revere, who spent his first three seasons in the majors with the Twins, returned to Minnesota for the first time since being traded to the Phillies in the offseason. He went 1-for-4 ... Philadelphia fell to 15-19 on the road ... The Phillies streak of 14 straight games with a homer ended ... It was Willingham's 1,000th career game ... Minnesota went 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left six on base.