08/19/09 2:13 AM ET
Mauer, Young fuel Twins' comeback win
Catcher hits two solo homers, left fielder drives in four
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
The catcher's third hit of the night came in the eighth inning, when he drove in the Twins' final run with an RBI single up the middle.The 3-for-5 performance raised Mauer's American League-leading batting average to .383, and he's well on his way to his third batting title in the last four seasons. And with the numbers he's putting up this season, Mauer seems to be building a candidacy for perhaps his first AL MVP Award. What Mauer is doing has left his opponents and teammates in awe. Mauer, however, said he's just trying to keep this hot streak going for as long as he can. "I feel good at the plate. I was saying earlier, when you feel tired and sore, you don't try to do too much at the plate," Mauer said. "I think that's kind of where I'm at. ... I've been relaxed and the ball seems to be coming in there at a good speed." With Morneau out Tuesday due to an inner-ear infection and Kubel leaving the contest in the first inning after fouling a ball off the top of his left knee, Mauer got some help in the comeback from another offensive source. Young tallied a season-high four RBIs, driving in two with a double as part of the four-run sixth inning and adding a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh to put the Twins ahead for the first time all night. "I think he's made a conscious effort to try to drive the ball," Gardenhire said of Young. "It's much needed. We need him to swing the bat and drive the ball. He's really been working at it, and it's starting to pay off." The Twins had some other positives as well. Joe Nathan came in to pitch the ninth and picked up his 30th save of the season. It was his first save opportunity since July 29, and the Twins had been the only team in baseball without one in the month of August. As the losses have piled up recently for Minnesota, its postseason hopes have started to fade, but the team is determined not to let them wash away. With the first-place Tigers picking up a win over the Mariners on Tuesday night, the Twins' victory kept them 6 1/2 games back of Detroit in the AL Central. But Minnesota's hope is that a comeback victory like the one it captured against Texas on Tuesday might be just what the club needs -- a victory to jump-start a winning streak that's proved elusive thus far. "This game can throw a lot of stuff at you, and ever since I've been here we've had a lot of success," Mauer said. "A lot of guys haven't had to go through stretches like this. I think we're still in it. We're going to keep coming to the park until they tell us we can't come anymore. It's frustrating, because you hope that you learn from some of the mistakes, and some that we're making are the same ones over and over. Hopefully we can turn the corner."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.