Tigers
Twins
5 - 4 Final
  for this game

Tigers tip Twins for sixth straight win

Jul 1, 2008 - 5:15 AM By Jon Avise PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- In a lineup full of flashier names, it was some of Detroit's less heralded cogs - a journeyman reliever and a weekend minor league call-up - that helped the Tigers continue their charge back from a disastrous start to the 2008 season on Monday night.

Curtis Granderson capped a late comeback with an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning and the Tigers took the first of a three-game set over the Minnesota Twins, 5-4, in a matchup of American League Central rivals.

The win finished off a 19-win June for the Tigers, a team that stood at 24-36 after a loss to Cleveland on June 6. Detroit is now 42-40 and trails second-place Minnesota by just 2 1/2 games in the division standings.

Granderson's go-ahead hit came after pinch hitter Matt Joyce - who was recalled from Class AAA Toledo on Sunday - knotted the game with an RBI triple in the matchup between two of baseball's hottest teams. Detroit has now won six straight and, despite the loss, Minnesota has taken 11 of 13.

Casey Fossum (1-0) earned the victory, pitching 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief Joel Zumaya picked up his first save of the season.

Fossum "really did a heck of a job tonight, he got the double-play ball and made some good pitches," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "But that's what it takes, it takes contributions from everybody. That's what good teams are all about."

Twins starter Glen Perkins' career-high seven strikeouts went to waste. He allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings but the bullpen could not hold the lead, snapping a streak of 24 1/3 innings of relief without allowing an earned run.

Minnesota struck early when Joe Mauer doubled off the blue baggy in right field to score Alexi Casilla, the first of a pair of RBIs for the catcher.

The Tigers answered immediately, with Marcus Thames hitting a 374-foot shot over that same high right field fence on the first pitch of the second to knot the game at 1-1.

Since May 21, Thames is batting .364 (28-for-77) with 13 home runs and 26 RBIs.

Detroit threatened to touch up Perkins in the third but the crafty youngster scratched his way out of the inning, allowing the Twins to take the lead in the bottom half of the inning.

"Perkins is good, he's pitched against us good twice now," Leyland said. "He runs that ball in, cuts it, keeps it away, good curveball. He's a good-looking young pitcher ... you know, he's tough."

Justin Morneau's bloop single and Clete Thomas' error in left scored Mauer, who had walked earlier in the inning after two brushbacks from Tigers starter Armando Galarraga. The pitches - one sailing behind Mauer - earned both benches a warning and Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire an ejection after a heated exchange with home plate umpire James Hoye.

It was Gardenhire's third ejection of the season and 39th of his career.

"They're the (team) right behind us. It's obviously gonna be pretty intense out there," Mauer said of the tense third inning. "It is what it is. We'll put it behind us and try to win some ballgames."

The Twins padded their lead in the fifth as Mauer's soft infield single scored the speedy Carlos Gomez from third. In the sixth, Minnesota made it 4-1 when Denard Span's double short-hopped into the glove of Ryan Raburn, plating Brian Buscher.

Perkins looked on his way to win No. 5 when he left in the seventh but the Twins' bullpen faltered, a break from their recent run of lights-out relief.

Detroit cut the lead to 4-3 in that inning as Placido Polanco drove in Granderson with an RBI single and Carlos Guillen's base knock scored Edgar Renteria.

But in a lineup card that included Renteria, Ivan Rodriguez and Miguel Cabrera, it was Joyce, a lefthanded rookie fresh from the farm who delivered the biggest hit of the night, a game-tying triple into the right field corner.

"You kind of have to be expecting (getting the call) sitting on the bench with a righty throwing and me being a lefty," Joyce said. "(Leyland) likes the matchups. So I was kind of anticipating it but it was still surprising."

Reliever Matt Gurrier (4-3) picked up the loss, allowing two runs in 1 1/3 innings.

"It's a tough loss," Mauer said. "We had the lead and let it go."

Cabrera left the game after the second inning with a tight hip flexor and is listed as day-to-day. Leyland said the injury is one that has bothered the Tigers' big offseason acquisition since spring training.






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    Tigers 5, Twins 4  FinalJul 8 10:56 PM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    DETROIT 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 5 12 3
    MINNESOTA 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 4 13 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: DET - ARMANDO GALARRAGA, CASEY FOSSUM (7TH), JOEL ZUMAYA (8TH) AND
    IVAN RODRIGUEZ
    MIN - GLEN PERKINS, JESSE CRAIN (7TH), DENNYS REYES
    (7TH), MATT GUERRIER (7TH), C

    Jun 30 11:19 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CURTIS GRANDERSON SCORED MATTHEW JOYCE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C GRANDERSON ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 5
    MINNESOTA 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: E RENTERIA (.272, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Tigers 5, Twins 4  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 30 10:47 PM
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    Tigers 5, Twins 4  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 30 10:47 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY MATTHEW JOYCE SCORED GARY SHEFFIELD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M JOYCE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 4
    MINNESOTA 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C GRANDERSON (.298, 2-FOR-3)

    Tigers 4, Twins 4  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 30 10:45 PM
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    Tigers 4, Twins 4  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 30 10:45 PM


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    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS GUILLEN SCORED EDGAR RENTERIA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C GUILLEN ON FIRST, P POLANCO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3
    MINNESOTA 4 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C THOMAS (.337, 1-FOR-2)

    Tigers 3, Twins 4  Top 7, 0 OutsJun 30 10:27 PM
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    Tigers 3, Twins 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 30 10:27 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY PLACIDO POLANCO SCORED CURTIS GRANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, P POLANCO ON FIRST, E RENTERIA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2
    MINNESOTA 4 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C GUILLEN (.290, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Tigers 2, Twins 4  Top 7, 0 OutsJun 30 10:16 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY DENARD SPAN SCORED BRIAN BUSCHER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D SPAN ON SECOND, B HARRIS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1
    MINNESOTA 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: C GOMEZ (.264, 1-FOR-3)

    Tigers 1, Twins 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 30 10:03 PM
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    Tigers 1, Twins 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 30 9:47 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOE MAUER SCORED CARLOS GOMEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MAUER ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1
    MINNESOTA 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.310, 2-FOR-2)

    Tigers 1, Twins 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 30 9:43 PM
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    Tigers 1, Twins 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 30 9:32 PM


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    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY CLETE THOMAS ALLOWED JOE MAUER TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MORNEAU ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.266, 0-FOR-1)

    Tigers 1, Twins 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsJun 30 9:09 PM


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    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARCUS THAMES (15) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 2ND OFF GLEN PERKINS.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1, MINNESOTA 1
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: G SHEFFIELD (.219, 5 HR, 16 RBI)

    Tigers 1, Twins 1  Top 2, 0 OutsJun 30 8:30 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOE MAUER SCORED ALEXI CASILLA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MAUER ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.306, 12 HR, 63 RBI)

    Tigers 0, Twins 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 30 8:22 PM