Morneau homers as Twins tame TigersMay 17, 2012 - 10:00 PM
Trevor Plouffe also homered for the Twins, who have won two games in a row for only the second time this season (April 11-12).
Minnesota starting pitcher P.J. Walters (1-1) pitched 6 1/3 innings to earn his third major league win, and first win since 2010. The right-hander gave up four hits, three of which were solo home runs, walked three and struck out two.
"You don't like to give up home runs, but the offense gave me a little room to work with so it didn't hurt us," Walters said.
Doug Fister (0-2) allowed four runs -- three earned -- on nine hits over six frames for Detroit, which has dropped six of its last nine games.
Already down 3-0, the Tigers' defense giftwrapped a fourth run for Minnesota. Josh Willingham reached third on a missed catch error by first baseman Prince Fielder to begin the fifth and he scored on Morneau's 4-3 groundout.
Walters held the Tigers hitless through four innings, but he surrendered leadoff home runs to Brennan Boesch and Andy Dirks in the fifth and sixth, respectively.
After Miguel Cabrera flied out, Fielder drove a Walters offering to right field, trimming the deficit to one.
Walters was removed in the seventh with two men aboard. Francisco Liriano preserved the lead by getting pinch-hitter Ramon Santiago to ground into a 1-4-3 double play.
Glen Perkins succeeded Liriano on the mound and started the eighth with consecutive walks - on nine pitches. The left-hander recovered to strike out Fielder and, like Liriano, coaxed a double-play grounder from Delmon Young.
The ninth was not nearly as adventurous for Matt Capps, who retired the Tigers in order to pick up his eighth save of the year.
"We kept the game close today. We just couldn't get over the hump," Dirks said.
Minnesota loaded the bases in the first but didn't score. The Twins got on the board in the third as Morneau and Plouffe hit back-to-back home runs. Willingham worked a two-out walk and Morneau followed with an opposite-field drive to left-center. Plouffe deposited the second pitch he saw to the seats in left.
Fister, who walked two and struck out five, entered the game with a 19 1/3 scoreless innings streak at Comerica Park...The Minnesota Twins have placed pitcher Nick Blackburn on the 15-day disabled list because of a left quad strain and decided to keep catcher Ryan Doumit on the 25-man roster. Doumit is suffering from a right calf strain and the Twins had announced after Wednesday's game that he would be placed on the DL. After receiving favorable medical results, the Twins instead kept him active. Outfielder Ben Revere was recalled from Triple-A Rochester and he went 1-for-4 out of the leadoff spot on Thursday.
- MINNESOTA: 4
May 17 3:46 PM
- Prince Fielder one-out, solo Home Run (6) to right. Delmon Young due up.
Twins 4, Tigers 3 Bot 6, 1 OutMay 17 2:44 PM
- Andy Dirks lead-off Home Run (4) to right. Miguel Cabrera due up.
Twins 4, Tigers 2 Bot 6, 0 OutsMay 17 2:42 PM
- Jhonny Peralta grounded out pitcher to first. None on with one out and Ryan Raburn due up.
Twins 4, Tigers 1 Bot 5, 1 OutMay 17 2:30 PM
- Justin Morneau grounded out second to first scoring Josh Willingham with one out. None on and Trevor Plouffe due up.
Twins 4, Tigers 0 Top 5, 1 OutMay 17 2:24 PM
- Trevor Plouffe two-out, solo Home Run (3) to left. Alexi Casilla due up.
Twins 3, Tigers 0 Top 3, 2 OutsMay 17 1:52 PM
- Justin Morneau two-out, two-run Home Run (5) to left center scored Josh Willingham. Trevor Plouffe due up.
Twins 2, Tigers 0 Top 3, 2 OutsMay 17 1:51 PM
- MINNESOTA: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
May 17 1:09 PM
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