Douglass (3-0) started two key rundowns while pitching seven strong innings to lead the Tigers to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.
"Sean has certainly pitched very well for us," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "Today, though, he made two very nice plays in the field that we certainly needed in a one-run game."
In the first inning, Douglass caught Nick Punto leaning the wrong way, stepped off the rubber and ran at him to set up a 1-3 putout. In the fifth, he fielded Juan Castro's grounder and turned to catch Bret Boone between second and third. Once again, he ran at the runner in textbook fashion, allowing third baseman Brandon Inge to tag Boone and then throw to second to retire Castro for a double play.
"He handled both of those plays perfectly," Trammell said. "He did just what he was supposed to do."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wasn't happy with either play, nor with Joe Mauer for being thrown out trying to go from first to second on a flyball in the second inning.
"We lost the game on the basepaths," Gardenhire said. "We gave them four outs and shot ourselves in the foot. That's how you lose a 2-1 ballgame."
Douglass, who doesn't remember ever having two such plays in one start, also starred on the mound. He allowed one run on five hits, walking four and striking out one.
"I feel like I'm throwing the ball well and giving the team a chance to win," said Douglass, who is unbeaten in five starts since coming up from Triple-A Toledo on June 22.
Another recent Mud Hen, Curtis Granderson, was the hitting hero with his go-ahead homer in the seventh.
After the Twins tied it at 1 in the top of the inning, Granderson lined a pitch from Carlos Silva into the right-field stands with two outs in the home half. The rookie outfielder had a nine-game audition with Detroit last September and was called up for the first time this season on Friday.
"I just wanted to be aggressive," Granderson said. "I've never lacked in confidence, but I feel more relaxed this time than I did last year."
Silva (7-4) took the loss, giving up two runs on eight hits in seven innings. Silva is 0-1 in his last three starts despite a 1.96 ERA.
"I left the pitch (to Granderson) right in the middle of the plate," he said. "After I got the first two outs, I think I got too comfortable."
Minnesota tied the game in the top of the seventh when Mauer doubled, moved up on a groundout and scored on Jacque Jones's single past a diving Chris Shelton at first.
The game was delayed in the top of the ninth when Ivan Rodriguez was hit on his previously-broken left pinkie by a foul tip. He stayed in to finish the game, but was expected to miss the nightcap.
"He probably wouldn't have played anyway, but he's definitely out now," Trammell said. "Hopefully, it won't be a problem beyond that, but it is sore right now."
|Curtis Granderson rounds the bases after hitting his first major-league homer. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Lew Ford, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.253|
|Nick Punto, 3B||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.261|
|Shannon Stewart, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.283|
|Joe Mauer, C||3||1||2||0||1||0||1||.309|
|Torii Hunter, DH||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.266|
|Jacque Jones, RF||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||.272|
|Bret Boone, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.226|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||.245|
|Juan Castro, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||3||.249|
|2B - Joe Mauer (15, Douglass)|
|RBI - Jacque Jones (47)|
|CS - Nick Punto (5, 2nd base by Douglass/Rodriguez)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Castro-Boone-Morneau, Boone-Castro-Morneau|
|Carlos Silva (L,7-4)||7||8||2||2||1||4||1||3.38|
|IBB - Monroe by Carlos Silva|
|Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Silva 93-62, Juan Rincon 24-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Silva 7-8, Juan Rincon 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Carlos Silva 28, Juan Rincon 5|
|Brandon Inge, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.281|
|Carlos Guillen, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.325|
|Chris Shelton, 1B||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.364|
|Magglio Ordonez, RF||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.318|
|Nook Logan, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.275|
|Dmitri Young, DH||3||0||1||0||1||0||2||.253|
|Ivan Rodriguez, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||5||.295|
|Craig Monroe, LF-RF||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||.293|
|Omar Infante, 2B||3||0||1||1||0||1||2||.235|
|Curtis Granderson, CF-LF||3||1||1||1||0||0||2||.429|
|2B - Chris Shelton (8, Silva), Dmitri Young (20, Silva)|
|HR - Curtis Granderson (1, Silva)|
|RBI - Omar Infante (34), Curtis Granderson (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Omar Infante (21), Curtis Granderson (2)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Outfield Assists - Craig Monroe 1|
|DP - Monroe-Infante, Douglass-Infante-Inge-Guillen|
|Sean Douglass (W,3-0)||7||5||1||1||4||1||0||2.10|
|Fernando Rodney (H,3)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.41|
|Kyle Farnsworth (S,4)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.43|
|IBB - Morneau by Sean Douglass|
|Pitches-Strikes - Sean Douglass 94-57, Fernando Rodney 16-11, Kyle Farnsworth 13-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sean Douglass 11-6, Fernando Rodney 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Sean Douglass 27, Fernando Rodney 4, Kyle Farnsworth 3|
|Attendance - 20206|
|Game Time - 2:23|
|Temperature - 79|
|Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Kevin Kelley, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Dale Scott|