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."
- Ordonez and Shelton both extended their hitting streaks to 15 games in the first game.
- Both teams made roster moves between games to move their second-game starters -- Detroit's Justin Verlander and Minnesota's Scott Baker -- onto the roster. The Tigers sent utility infielder Kevin Hooper to Triple-A Toledo, while the Twins sent outfielder Michael Ryan to Triple-A Rochester.