Tigers
Twins
4 - 3 Final
  for this game

Four-run first fuels Tigers past Twins

Sep 16, 2007 - 3:14 AM By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) - If opposing teams are going to get to Minnesota Twins lefthander Johan Santana, they typically need to do it early. On Saturday, the Detroit Tigers did it early.

Detroit scored four runs in the first inning off the two-time Cy Young Award winner and the Tigers held on to beat the Twins, 4-3, at the Metrodome.

With the victory, Detroit (82-67) pulled a game closer to the New York Yankees (84-64) in the American League wild-card race after the Yankees lost, 10-1, at Boston. The Tigers trail New York by 2 1/2 games.

"(Santana) is a tremendous pitcher, one of the best in the game, and when you can do things like that in the game, it is always good for the team," Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez said. "You could see after the first, he just dominated us, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, and in a situation like that we have to take advantage and we did in the first."

Santana entered the game with a 5.40 ERA and a .292 opponents' batting average in the first inning, allowing 18 runs in 30 innings. From there, the numbers drop to a 2.68 ERA and .212 average.

It would be much of the same in this one.

Five of the Tigers' first six batters reached base against Santana as the team put up four runs. Carlos Guillen had an RBI single and Rodriguez added a three-run double off the wall in right field.

"A lot of great pitchers have trouble early, but I have never seen any signs of that with him before with us," Tigers' manager Jim Leyland said. "You just try to cover one pitch, rather than try to cover everything. Because if you do, he will just tear you apart. We were just fortunate we jumped on the board quick and held on."

From there, Detroit wouldn't get much against the Twins starter. Santana (15-12) retired 12 straight after a lead-off single by Brent Clevlen opened the second. He allowed four runs on six hits in eight innings.

"Johan was just up in the first inning," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He got some pitches up and they did what they had to. He settled down and had everything working for him. After that, he shut them down."

In his first career start, Tigers starter Yorman Bazardo was able to hold down Minnesota's struggling offense early. The righthander made nine appearances coming out of the bullpen in three separate stints with the Tigers this season.

Bazardo scattered four hits and allowed just two runs. But, he walked two, hit a batter, had one wild pitch which led to a run, and was unable to get out of the fifth.

"We score four runs in the first inning and that helped me a lot. I was more comfortable," Bazardo said. "In the fifth, I was trying to put too much on the ball and started flying open a little bit."

The Twins scratched across single runs in the third and the fifth. The wild pitch allowed Nick Punto to score in the third, and Jason Bartlett had an RBI groundout to score Luis Rodriguez in the fifth.

However, following a walk to Jason Kubel, Bazardo was relieved by lefthander Bobby Seay, who got Joe Mauer to ground into an inning-ending fielder's choice. Seay went one inning, striking out two.

"You need a starting pitcher to give you a shot and that is what Bazardo did today," Leyland said. "That is the key. It doesn't matter how good your bullpen is if the starting pitcher doesn't give you a chance. It is a combination of a lot of things if you are going to win."

The Twins added an unearned run in the seventh inning off of Zach Miner. Kubel hit a ball back to the pitcher who turned and threw high to Ramon Santiago at second base trying for the double play. Santiago's throw was late to first, and Punto came home from second on the play.

Joel Zumaya (2-3) came on to end the threat, getting Mauer to bounce into a double play. Mauer went 0-for-4, grounded into two double plays and left five runners on base.

"It makes a difference when you get behind early, facing a pitcher we really didn't know much about," Gardenhire said. "You get behind and it kind of takes away from being able to do too much running and all those things."

Zumaya pitched a scoreless eighth and Todd Jones finished the game for his 36th save in 41 chances.

"That is what we have to do, we have to make the bullpen come in and throw strikes," Rodriguez said. "Today Zumaya, Miner came over here, and Jones finished it. That is what we need to do. Every game for us is important."








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

    BATTERIES: DET - YORMAN BAZARDO, BOBBY SEAY (5TH), ZACH MINER (6TH), JOEL
    ZUMAYA (7TH), TODD JONES (9TH) AND IVAN RODRIGUEZ
    MIN - JOHAN SANTANA, MATT GUERRIER (9TH) AND JOE MA

    Sep 15 10:03 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Tigers vs. TwinsSep 15 9:50 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY JASON KUBEL SCORED NICK PUNTO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J KUBEL ON FIRST, J BARTLETT ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 4
    MINNESOTA 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.292, 0-FOR-3)

    Tigers vs. TwinsSep 15 9:25 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JASON BARTLETT SCORED LUIS RODRIGUEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 4
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.267, 1-FOR-2)

    Tigers vs. TwinsSep 15 8:37 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY YORMAN BAZARDO ALLOWED NICK PUNTO TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BARTLETT ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 4
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.268, 1-FOR-1)

    Tigers vs. TwinsSep 15 8:07 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: DET - YORMAN BAZARDO
    MIN - JOHAN SANTANA

    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J BARTLETT (.271, 5 HR, 41 RBI)
    J KUBEL (.266, 11 HR, 60 RBI)
    J MAUER (.294, 5 HR, 54

    Tigers vs. TwinsSep 15 7:24 PM
  • 5
    roots
    2buthy5 Added 5 roots

    Tigers vs. TwinsJul 14 2:43 AM