Minneapolis, MN – Jim Thome won't be in the starting lineup once the Phillies resume their National-League slate, but the 41-year-old has been rejuvenated as a designated hitter thus far during interleague play.
Thome smacked his all-time, interleague-leading 62nd homer, a towering three- run shot in the top of the third inning, while Joe Blanton twirled his second complete game this season as Philadelphia downed the Minnesota Twins, 6-1, in the rubber match of a three-game set.
A lower-back strain kept Thome on the disabled list for more than a month, but since being activated from the DL on June 6, he's hitting .458 with three homers and 13 RBI in six interleague games.
His cranky back, however, will restrain him from playing the field once Philadelphia returns to National-League competition.
Joe Blanton (6-6) fanned seven and surrendered a run on seven hits in his eighth career complete game.
"He throws four-plus pitches and he throws them for strikes," Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe said of Blanton. "If he's getting them all over and able to locate them, he's tough and that's what he was doing tonight."
Jimmy Rollins added three hits and scored twice for the Phillies, who have a two-game winning streak but won for just the third time in their last 12 contests.
"To come out and win these two ballgames and carry some momentum going from this series to Toronto, it's big," Thome said.
Scott Diamond (5-2) was charged with four runs on five hits and two walks in six innings for Minnesota, which has dropped three of its last four.
After both teams tallied a run apiece in the second frame, Thome helped put the Phillies on top for good in the third.
Rollins laced a double to left, the 400th two-bagger of his career, while Hunter Pence walked two batters later. Thome then cracked a towering three-run shot that just sailed over the wall and landed into the flower bed in right- center, giving the visitors a 4-1 edge.
The Phillies added a two-out insurance run in the eighth and another in the ninth.
In the eighth, Shane Victorino worked a walk and raced home when Carlos Ruiz scalded a double to the wall in left while Polanco slapped an RBI single to center in the ninth for a 6-1 Phillies advantage.
Earlier, Ty Wigginton ripped a solo shot over the wall in left to get the Phillies on the board in the second, but Trevor Plouffe answered with a solo homer of his own in the bottom half, a laser into the seats in left to knot the game.
Thome had just two hits in his first 20 at-bats this season, but is now batting .295 on the year...Rollins also registered a stolen base, his 11th of the season...Blanton had allowed 29 earned runs in his previous five outings.