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Bass, Cuddyer lead Twins past Tigers

May 4, 2008 - 3:37 AM By Anthony Maggio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) - Brian Bass was a relative unknown when he signed with the Minnesota Twins as a minor league free agent a little more than a year ago.

Bass replaced injured starter Scott Baker early and threw four scoreless innings for his first major league win as the Twins topped the Detroit Tigers, 4-1, at the Metrodome on Saturday night.

Michael Cuddyer drove in a pair of runs and Craig Monroe hit a two-run homer against his former team to give Minnesota its fourth straight victory.

"What a special night for (Bass)," Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said. "We didn't even know who he was last year. He's come a long way and I'm glad we got him."

Tigers ace Justin Verlander (1-5) lost his second consecutive start while allowing at least four runs for the sixth time in seven outings this season. Verlander once again didn't get much help as Detroit has scored just 12 runs combined in his seven starts this season.

The hard-throwing righthander gave up four runs and seven hits while walking two and striking out five.

"(Verlander) pitched well - got a little tired late and hung a breaking ball to (Monroe)," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "He gave us an excellent chance to win."

Offensively, the Tigers singled in all four innings from the third through the sixth - three with less than two outs - but only one runner managed to reach scoring position.

After Baker allowed one hit and struck out two through three frames, Bass gave up just three hits in his first action since April 27. He had pitched just twice since April 17, both outings in mop-up duty in blowout losses.

Bass has pitched in eight games this season, but Saturday's season-high four innings marked just the second in a Twins victory. The other was a four-inning save against the White Sox in Chicago on April 9.

"I try to use the same mentality every time out there and don't really look at the scoreboard," Bass said. "It's one of those things where you just have to go out there, eat up some innings and pitch."

Cuddyer provided Bass some help with a bases-loaded RBI groundout in the fourth inning and his run-scoring single in sixth inning extended his hitting streak to eight games.

Bass kept Detroit scoreless through the seventh inning, and Monroe's two-run blast off Verlander in the bottom half of the frame gave the Twins some breathing room at 4-0.

"Emotions were high," Monroe said. "I'm a Minnesota Twin and got an opportunity to play against my old team - and there's just something about playing your old team. I don't know if you'd call it anger or whatever - but it's different when you're in there and have a chance to beat up on your old team and (it) felt incredible."

Pat Neshek, who hadn't allowed an earned run in seven appearances since the Tigers tagged him for two, gave up a two-out homer to Curtis Granderson. After Placido Polanco singled and Gary Sheffield walked to make things interesting in the eighth, Jesse Crain entered to get Magglio Ordonez to fly out to right field to end the threat.

Joe Nathan worked around a one-out walk in the ninth inning for his 10th save in as many chances.

Granderson was the only Detroit player with multiple hits as the Tigers were held to one run for the second consecutive game after combining for 20 runs in a three-game sweep of New York at Yankee Stadium.

"You're going to go through cycles," Granderson said. "Just as quick as everyone wrote us off (early in the season), everyone was writing us back in. Sure enough, we're starting to struggle again."

"We had a few games where we rolled and looked pretty good, but for whatever reason, mysteriously, we're just right back into a funk," Leyland said. "We've had some bad at-bats, and some slow bats."

Joe Mauer had three hits while Monroe and Lamb both chipped in multi-hit games to hand Detroit its third straight division loss.

The Twins have won five consecutive games against division foes.

Baker will be re-evaluated on Sunday, but said his groin feels better than when he originally strained it against Texas last Saturday. He hopes to pitch as scheduled on Thursday.








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

    BATTERIES: DET - JUSTIN VERLANDER, CLAY RAPADA (8TH) AND BRANDON INGE
    MIN - SCOTT BAKER, BRIAN BASS (4TH), PAT NESHEK (8TH),
    JESSE CRAIN (8TH), JOE NATHAN (9TH) AND JOE MAUER

    May 3 9:49 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CURTIS GRANDERSON (4) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF PAT NESHEK.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1, MINNESOTA 4
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: P POLANCO (.231, 0-FOR-3)

    Tigers 1, Twins 4  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 3 9:17 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CRAIG MONROE (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF JUSTIN VERLANDER SCORED DELMON YOUNG.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0, MINNESOTA 4
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: A EVERETT (.182, 0-FOR-2)

    Tigers 0, Twins 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 3 9:02 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MICHAEL CUDDYER SCORED MIKE LAMB.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CUDDYER ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.250, 0-FOR-2)

    Tigers 0, Twins 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsMay 3 8:48 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY MICHAEL CUDDYER SCORED MIKE LAMB.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MORNEAU ON SECOND, J MAUER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.252, 0-FOR-1)

    Tigers 0, Twins 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 3 8:13 PM