Twins
Tigers
5 - 3 Final
  for this game

Mauer's hit keys Twins comeback

Apr 28, 2007 - 4:22 AM DETROIT (Ticker) -- A battle between two of the more surprising pitchers in the American League came down to the bullpen.

Joe Mauer singled in the go-ahead runs during a four-run eighth inning as the Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers, 5-3, in the first of a three-game series.

Despite snapping a four-game losing streak with Thursday's 1-0 extra-inning win over Kansas City, Minnesota had failed to score more than three runs in each of its last five games.

"This was a big win for us," Twins right fielder Mike Cuddyer said. "We battled hard and were finally able to string some hits together, something that we haven't be able to do of late. It was really nice to get that rally and win the game."

Detroit starter Nate Robertson had a shut out for six innings, but lost his lead in the seventh before reliever Joel Zumaya lost the game later in the frame.

Only two Twins reached second base in the first six frames and both were with two outs. Minnesota finally reached Robertson in the seventh, when Justin Morneau snapped a 2-for-24 skid with his fifth homer to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Robertson yielded a leadoff walk to Jason Bartlett in the eighth and a single to Nick Punto before being replaced by Zumaya, who yielded a sacrifice to Luis Rodriguez and a two-run single off the base of the right field wall by Mike Redmond that plated the tying runs.

"I know I'm capable of getting the big outs, so this is tough," Zumaya said. "It's really biting me in the (rear end). Hitters go 0-for-20 and pitchers have slumps too. I just have to get myself out of it. Right now, I'm in a big funk, and it is just biting me in the (rear end)."

Cuddyer bounced a double off the left field wall and Morneau was walked intentionally to load the bases. Zumaya struck out Torii Hunter before Mauer fisted a bloop to center, scoring two runs for a 5-3 lead.

"I was just happy to get an opportunity to help us win," Mauer said. "He threw me a fastball at the fist and I was able to get over the shortstop. It was a big win for us."

Detroit had runners on second and third with two outs in the eighth, but Juan Rincon struck out Brandon Inge looking. Joe Nathan worked a perfect ninth for his seventh save.

"We hit the ball pretty well, but we didn't score a lot of runs," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We had a chance a couple times to get some add-on runs, and we didn't do it. That will come back to hurt you."

Despite splitting his first four decisions, Robertson had not allowed more than two earned runs in any start and just one home run. He also entered ranked fifth in ERA at 2.05. He was charged with three runs and five hits in seven-plus innings.

"The big thing was walking the lead-off batter in the eight," Robertson said. "You just can't do that. The next guy hits a good pitch through the hole and its out of my hand. That's baseball, but we'll be fine."

Ramon Ortiz, the free-agent acquisition who has been a pleasant surprise for Minnesota this season, pitched well again.

After posting ERAs over 5.00 the past two seasons for Cincinnati and Washington, respectively, the 32-year-old righthander had a 2.49 ERA in his first four starts, pitching at least seven innings in each start.

"Ortiz pitched well enough to keep us in the game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The bullpen then shut them down the rest of the way."

The Dominican righthander worked around a leadoff double by Curtis Granderson in the first when he retired Carlos Guillen to end the inning, and worked around a one-out double by Craig Monroe in the second before Guillen got to Ortiz in the third.

Gary Sheffield drew a two-out walk and stole second. After a walk to Magglio Ordonez, Guillen singled to center field, plating Sheffield for the game's first run.

Monroe's second double off an inside fastball by Ortiz in the sixth, plated Sean Casey for a 2-0 lead. Monroe entered the game in an 0-for-16 slump.

Ortiz departed after six innings and 108 pitches, surrendering five hits and four walks with two strikeouts.

Jesse Crain yielded back-to-back doubles in the seventh to Granderson and Placido Polanco as the Tigers took a 3-1 lead.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 5 8 0
    DETROIT 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 3 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: MIN - RAMON ORTIZ, JESSE CRAIN (7TH), JUAN RINCON (8TH), JOE NATHAN
    (9TH) AND MIKE REDMOND
    DET - NATE ROBERTSON, JOEL ZUMAYA (8TH), BOBBY SEAY
    (8TH) AND MIKE RABEL

    Apr 27 9:51 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOE MAUER SCORED MIKE REDMOND AND MICHAEL
    CUDDYER.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, J MAUER ON FIRST, J MORNEAU ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 5
    DETROIT 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.254, 0-FOR-3)

    Twins vs. TigersApr 27 9:20 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE REDMOND SCORED JASON BARTLETT AND NICK
    PUNTO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M REDMOND ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 3
    DETROIT 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M CUDDYER (.297, 1-FOR-3)

    Twins vs. TigersApr 27 9:14 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY PLACIDO POLANCO SCORED CURTIS GRANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, P POLANCO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 1
    DETROIT 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: G SHEFFIELD (.164, 0-FOR-1, 2 BB)

    Twins vs. TigersApr 27 8:57 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JUSTIN MORNEAU (5) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF NATE ROBERTSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 1, DETROIT 2
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: T HUNTER (.320, 1-FOR-2)

    Twins vs. TigersApr 27 8:46 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CRAIG MONROE SCORED SEAN CASEY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C MONROE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 0
    DETROIT 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: M RABELO (.000, 0-FOR-2)

    Twins vs. TigersApr 27 8:42 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS GUILLEN SCORED GARY SHEFFIELD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C GUILLEN ON FIRST, M ORDONEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 0
    DETROIT 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: S CASEY (.183, 0-FOR-1)

    Twins vs. TigersApr 27 8:02 PM