Tigers
Twins
4 - 6 Final
  for this game

Monroe helps Twins cool off Tigers

Jul 2, 2008 - 4:40 AM By Jon Avise PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Home runs, Craig Monroe says, are just happy accidents, a lucky result of a good at-bat. In that case, then, it was a big accident off his powerful bat that swung the game in the Minnesota Twins' favor Tuesday night.

The Twins used six solid innings from Scott Baker and a three-run homer from Monroe against his former team to top the Detroit Tigers, 6-4, and even a three-game set on Tuesday night.

Baker (5-2) picked up the win, striking out five in six innings, as Minnesota collected its first victory in July after a 17-win June. The Twins picked up 14 hits and chased Detroit starter Nate Robertson (6-7) from the game in the fifth.

The biggest of those 14 hits came from Monroe, who played for the Tigers from 2002-2007, when he put the Twins in front in the fourth inning with a towering, 419-foot home run - his eighth of the season - to dead center off Robertson.

"It changed the whole game," Baker said of his teammate's drive that helped the team to its 14th win in its past 17 games. "The momentum was instantly shifted."

It was a welcome change. Monroe has struggled while getting limited at-bats during his three months in Minnesota, but two hits Tuesday night raised his to .218. And, he says, better things await.

"I know I'm a streaky hitter, and I know once I get going it's going to be an exciting time for me and for this team because I'll do some things that will allow us to win some games," Monroe said.

The three-run fourth for the Twins came after the Tigers had jumped out front in the top half of the inning when Carlos Guillen singled and eventually scored on Baker's wild pitch for a 1-0 Detroit advantage.

That was the last it saw of a lead all night.

Minnesota padded its cushion in the fifth inning. Alexi Casilla doubled sharply down the left-field line to score Denard Span, and catcher Mike Redmond followed with a single that scored Carlos Gomez and Span to give the Twins a 6-1 lead.

Robertson entered Tuesday's contest 4-2 with a 2.72 ERA in his last six starts against Minnesota, but surrendered 11 hits and two three-run innings in a rough outing that earned him an early shower.

"We didn't pitch well," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We didn't pitch well from the beginning and we didn't pitch well throughout until we got to (reliever) Bobby Seay. We just didn't pitch good."

Unlike Monday night, when Minnesota's normally lights-out bullpen blew a 4-1 lead, the Twins' relief corps closed the door on third-place Detroit - though the Tigers managed to make it interesting.

A two-run home run by Marcus Thames in the sixth - his 16th this season - made it a 6-3 game, and an RBI double from Gary Sheffield brought the Tigers to within a pair.

Despite his team's lead, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said his club never felt comfortable against a lineup with as much fire power as Detroit's.

"Those guys just keep plugging away over there," Gardenhire said. "They make ground up quick with home runs."

Minnesota's hitters didn't help themselves late, either, tying a club record by grounding into five double plays and hitting 5-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

"We just left a ton of runs out there," Gardenhire said.

Closer Joe Nathan, though, was able to set the Tigers down in order in the ninth for save No. 23 on the season as Minnesota rebounded from Monday night's tough one-run loss to Detroit.

That his new club responded versus his old was no surprise, Monroe said.

"I tell you what, this Minnesota team - I've been on the other side before - this Minnesota team finds ways to win. It's funny to be a part of it and they're - we're - doing the same thing."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    DETROIT 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 4 10 0
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 3 3 0 0 0 x 6 14 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: DET - NATE ROBERTSON, ZACH MINER (5TH), BOBBY SEAY (7TH) AND IVAN
    RODRIGUEZ
    MIN - SCOTT BAKER, BRIAN BASS (7TH), DENNYS REYES
    (8TH), JOE NATHAN (9TH) AND MIKE REDM

    Jul 1 10:56 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY GARY SHEFFIELD SCORED CARLOS GUILLEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G SHEFFIELD ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 4
    MINNESOTA 6 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C THOMAS (.318, 0-FOR-3)

    Tigers 4, Twins 6  Top 8, 0 OutsJul 1 10:41 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MARCUS THAMES (16) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF SCOTT BAKER SCORED CARLOS GUILLEN.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3, MINNESOTA 6
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: M JOYCE (.214, 0-FOR-2)

    Tigers 3, Twins 6  Top 6, 0 OutsJul 1 9:53 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE REDMOND SCORED CARLOS GOMEZ AND ALEXI
    CASILLA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M REDMOND ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1
    MINNESOTA 6 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.310, 1-FOR-2)

    Tigers 1, Twins 6  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 1 9:33 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALEXI CASILLA SCORED DENARD SPAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A CASILLA ON SECOND, C GOMEZ ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1
    MINNESOTA 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M REDMOND (.293, 1-FOR-2)

    Tigers 1, Twins 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 1 9:30 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY CRAIG MONROE (8) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF NATE ROBERTSON SCORED MIKE REDMOND AND JUSTIN
    MORNEAU.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1, MINNESOTA 3
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.281, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Tigers 1, Twins 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 1 9:16 PM