Minnesota Twins defeat Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-1

The Twins had just hit two home runs to support Nick Blackburn's complete game in a 5-1 victory over the Pirates on Thursday afternoon at the Metrodome.

Ron Gardenhire was disrobing when first base coach Jerry White stuck his head in the manager's office.

"See you at the house tonight," White said.

"I can't wait," Gardenhire said.

Gardenhire is rebuilding an old Mustang in his garage in Little Canada, and White shares his affinity for muscle cars. "It's Wimbledon ...

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire liked what he saw of Nick Blackburn last year when he was 11-11 with a 4.05 ERA as a rookie starting pitcher.

But Gardenhire thinks the 27-year-old righthander, who beat the Pirates 5-1 Thursday at the Metrodome, has taken another step forward.

"Blackie was pretty good last year, and I think we saw at end of the year how much he had grown as a pitcher," Gardenhire said. "His ball is really sinking now, he has lot of confidence; he's maste...

Michael Cuddyer has added 15 points to his batting average in three games since having a cortisone injection in his right index finger.

The finger swelled during the weekend series in Chicago, the second time this month it has happened. He returned to the Twin Cities on Sunday to get the shot but had no idea what would happen. He missed four games the first time it swelled, and there were concerns he would have to be placed on the disabled list.

"I was a little nervo...

It's good timing that the Twins are moving outdoors to Target Field next season. The grass there can grow back.

Not in the Metrodome, where the FieldTurf can be worn out by the groundball madness that takes place when Nick Blackburn is on his game -- as he was Thursday during the Twins' 5-1 victory over Pittsburgh.

The righthander's sinker dropped faster than the housing market. Pirates hitters hit grounder after grounder. Blackburn teamed with catcher Mike Redmond t...