The three-time division champions clearly have other ideas.
Brad Radke finally gave Minnesota what it was expecting from him with six strong innings and the Twins broke the game open with a big sixth inning to complete a three-game sweep of Detroit with a 10-4 victory on Thursday night.
"It was nice to get a sweep," Radke said. "Especially with Dmitri talking a little out there."
Once again, Radke struggled in the first, allowing two runs on an RBI-single by Young and a sacrifice fly by Rondell White.
Radke (1-2) retired 11 in a row after Young's single and allowed three hits and one run after that to get his first victory of the season and hand the Tigers their fourth consecutive loss.
Radke had a rough first two starts, going 0-2 with a 6.08 ERA. But after a tough first inning, he settled down and held the Tigers in check for six innings, allowing three runs and six hits.
"It was good to get some runs on the board," Radke said. "It's fun to pitch when that happens."
Tigers starter Nate Robertson (0-1) struggled. After a stellar debut against Cleveland in which he allowed one earned run and five hits in seven innings of a no-decision, Robertson gave up six runs, four earned, walked five and hit two batters in five innings against the Twins.
The Tigers were sloppy in the third inning, when two errors and a hit batter led to three runs. Torii Hunter led off the inning with a double and scored when Tigers second baseman Omar Infante tried to turn a double play on a grounder by Jones. Infante's throw went into left field, and Ford advanced to third and Jones to second.
Redmond followed with another RBI single to score Ford, and right fielder Marcus Thames bobbled the ball, allowing Jones to score from second to make it 5-2.
"I'm extremely disappointed," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "It was not a good effort tonight. Nine walks and two hit batsmen -- that's a formula for a loss."
The Twins had all the answers, save for a little fireworks in the fifth.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected for the first time this season and 16th time in his career in the fifth inning for arguing after home plate umpire Ed Hickox warned Radke after hitting Thames with a pitch.
After giving up a single to Craig Monroe, Radke plunked Thames in the belt. Hickox immediately warned Radke and both dugouts that another hit batter would warrant an ejection.
Gardenhire sprinted out of the dugout, apparently upset that Hickox did not warn Robertson after he hit Ford and Shannon Stewart and nearly hit Rivas in separate innings.
"I told him I thought that was wrong and Eddie had to do what he had to do," Gardenhire said. "Nothing against him, he's a good umpire. ... But I just can't handle those warnings. If I get thrown out 10 times this year, I bet nine will be because of those warnings and the 10th will be because I think we're (playing poorly) that night and I don't want to watch it."
White hit a solo homer in the eighth and was 1-for-3 with two RBI, but the Tigers showed they still have a long way to go before they are ready to compete with the Twins for the division.
The Twins have won nine consecutive games over the Tigers and are 59-19 against them since 2001.
"They humbled us," said Young, who went 2-for-4. "We definitely wanted to show them this was a different team. Unfortunately they beat us the way they've been beating us.
"It's not a 16-game season. This isn't football. We definitely have time to redeem ourselves."
|Ron Gardenhire argues with Ed Hickox and eventually gets tossed for the 16th time in his career. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Brandon Inge, 3B||5||0||1||0||0||2||2||.333|
|Carlos Guillen, SS||3||1||0||0||1||1||1||.357|
|Ivan Rodriguez, C||4||2||2||0||0||0||0||.343|
|Dmitri Young, DH||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||.389|
|Rondell White, LF||3||1||1||2||0||1||2||.333|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.286|
|Craig Monroe, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.242|
|Marcus Thames, RF||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.214|
|Omar Infante, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.206|
|2B - Omar Infante (2, Guerrier)|
|HR - Rondell White (2, Guerrier)|
|SF - Rondell White (2)|
|RBI - Dmitri Young (10), Rondell White 2 (6), Carlos Pena (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Rondell White (2), Carlos Pena (2)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Guillen-Pena, Inge-Infante-Pena|
|E - Omar Infante (1, wild throw), Brandon Inge (3, ), Marcus Thames (1, misplayed grounder)|
|Nate Robertson (L,0-1)||5||5||6||4||5||0||0||3.75|
|IBB - Jones by Ugueth Urbina|
|HBP - Stewart (by Nate Robertson), Ford (by Nate Robertson)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Nate Robertson 96-52, Kyle Farnsworth 35-20, Franklyn German 16-7, Ugueth Urbina 26-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nate Robertson 9-5, Franklyn German 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Nate Robertson 26, Kyle Farnsworth 8, Franklyn German 4, Ugueth Urbina 6|
|Shannon Stewart, LF||2||1||0||0||2||0||0||.237|
|Juan Castro, SS||5||0||0||0||0||0||6||.300|
|Torii Hunter, DH||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.229|
|a- Corky Miller, PH-DH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Matthew LeCroy, 1B||4||2||2||1||1||0||1||.304|
|Lew Ford, CF||3||3||2||3||1||0||1||.267|
|Jacque Jones, RF||4||2||3||2||1||0||0||.407|
|Michael Cuddyer, 3B||2||0||0||0||3||2||4||.188|
|Mike Redmond, C||4||0||2||2||1||0||4||.429|
|Luis Rivas, 2B||3||1||1||1||0||0||2||.316|
|a-flied out for Hunter in the 8th|
|2B - Torii Hunter (2, Robertson), Lew Ford (2, Urbina)|
|3B - Jacque Jones (1, Robertson)|
|HR - Lew Ford (1, Farnsworth)|
|SF - Luis Rivas (1)|
|RBI - Matthew LeCroy (5), Lew Ford 3 (3), Jacque Jones 2 (9), Mike Redmond 2 (2), Luis Rivas (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Matthew LeCroy (5), Lew Ford 3 (3)|
|CS - Michael Cuddyer (1, 3rd base by Robertson/Rodriguez)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|DP - Radke-Rivas-Castro-LeCroy|
|Brad Radke (W,1-2)||6||6||3||3||1||3||0||5.59|
|HBP - Thames (by Brad Radke)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brad Radke 86-62, Jesse Crain 12-7, Matt Guerrier 23-17|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Radke 8-6, Matt Guerrier 3-2|
|Batters Faced - Brad Radke 25, Jesse Crain 4, Matt Guerrier 8|
|Attendance - 14344|
|Game Time - 2:47|
|Temperature - 70|
|Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - Larry Young, Second Base - Field Culbreth, Third Base - Eric Cooper|