Silva outpitches Robertson as Twins blank TigersSep 25, 2007 - 3:20 AM DETROIT (Ticker) -- Jim Leyland and the Detroit Tigers failed to take advantage.
Carlos Silva outdueled Nate Robertson as the Minnesota Twins put a damper on the Tigers playoff hopes with Monday's 2-0 victory in the series opener.
Detroit (85-72) still remain 5 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees (90-66) in the American League wild card chase with five games remaining.
The Tigers will be eliminated from postseason contention with one more loss or a win by the New York Yankees. New York lost earlier in the day to Toronto, 4-1.
"There's five games to go and we're still in it," Robertson said. "I know it would take a miracle to win it but for all we've been through this year we're still around. The guys are still playing hard and that's a testament to this team."
Silva (13-14) was outstanding, yielding six hits with one strikeout through 7 2/3 innings to remain perfect in two starts against Detroit. On April 28 here, the righthander allowed three runs in six frames for the win.
"Silva's a sinkerball pitcher with a good changeup that he keeps down," Tigers first baseman Sean Casey said. "I think that was the big thing. He was really using that sinker and was getting guys out front with his changeup, and that's what he was doing all night long."
It was Silva's longest outing since grinding out eight strong innings in a win against the Kansas City Royals on July 31.
"I was really excited for this game," Silva said. "To face a lineup like this with so many good hitters like this is a challenge. Everything worked for us. All you want to do is pitch your game, you don't want to be perfect - just win."
Robertson also impressed, limiting the Twins to just one run on three hits with six strikeouts and four walks over seven frames.
"I felt good out there," Robertson said. "I had good command and all of my pitches were working. That's baseball, you take the good with the bad."
In the second inning, Michael Cuddyer drew a leadoff walk and took second on a groundout before coming home on Nick Punto's RBI single to left off Robertson (8-12) for a 1-0 advantage.
"(Punto) plays, man, he just plays," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It hasn't been a good year for him, but you like to keep those guys on the field."
Minnesota added some insurance in the top of the ninth against reliever Fernando Rodney, who surrendered a two-out RBI single to Jason Kubel.
Detroit had an opportunity to make things interesting in the bottom half of the inning against closer Joe Nathan.
After getting the first two outs, Nathan walked Magglio Ordonez and gave up a single to Carlos Guillen, who stole second to put runners on third and second. However, Nathan regrouped and shut the door by inducing All-Star Ivan Rodriguez to ground out for his 35th save.
"We had a couple of shots at them," Leyland said. "We hit a couple of balls hard but they didn't fall in. We just didn't muster enough offensive to give ourselves a chance to win."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
MINNESOTA 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 6 0
DETROIT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: MIN - CARLOS SILVA, GLEN PERKINS (8TH), JOE NATHAN (9TH) AND MATT
DET - NATE ROBERTSON, FERNANDO RODNEY (8TH) AND IVAN
HOME RUNS: MIN - NONE
Sep 24 9:46 PM
AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY JASON KUBEL SCORED JASON TYNER.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J KUBEL ON FIRST, J BARTLETT ON THIRD, 2 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2
DETROIT 0 TOP, 9TH
DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: T HUNTER (.290, 1-FOR-4)
Twins vs. TigersSep 24 9:29 PM
AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY NICK PUNTO SCORED MICHAEL CUDDYER.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N PUNTO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 1
DETROIT 0 TOP, 2ND
DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: A CASILLA (.236, 0 HR, 9 RBI)
Twins vs. TigersSep 24 7:27 PM
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