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Minnesota at Detroit

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Minnesota (13-10) «000000140580
Detroit (12-10)001001100390

Twins 5, Tigers 3

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- The Minnesota Twins had a nice option to go to late in their game against the Detroit Tigers on Friday night: AL batting champion Joe Mauer.

Mauer's pinch-hit two-run single capped a four-run eighth inning, helping the Twins rally for a 5-3 win over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

"This is a really big win for us," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Our guys grind, just like those guys grind. They come back and win ballgames, just like we do.

"Tonight we got the best of them at the end, and I expect it to be a battle all year."

With the bases loaded and two outs, Mauer lined a Joel Zumaya (0-1) pitch into shallow center to give the Twins their first lead of the game.

Detroit's starters are 6-2 this season, but Zumaya's loss dropped the relief corps to 6-8 with a 5.14 ERA.

"Our bullpen is struggling right now, there is no doubt about that," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "But we know we have good pitchers out there, and we know that we're not hitting, which leads to a lot of close games."

The Tigers got two singles off Juan Rincon with one out in the eighth, but rookie Mike Rabelo grounded out and Brandon Inge struck out. Rabelo is now 0-for-12 for Detroit, and Inge is hitting .129.

"We're not hitting," Carlos Guillen said. "When you don't hit, you shouldn't expect to win."

Jesse Crain (1-1), the second of four Twins pitchers, picked up the win after allowing one run in an inning. Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save.

Nate Robertson allowed three runs and five hits in seven-plus innings for the Tigers, who led 2-0 after six innings.

Guillen hit a two-out RBI single against Ramon Ortiz in the third to give Detroit a 1-0 lead. Craig Monroe added a two-out, run-scoring double in the sixth for the Tigers.

Justin Morneau homered for the Twins on the first pitch of the seventh but Detroit added a run in the bottom of the inning when Placido Polanco doubled in Curtis Granderson.

Minnesota started the eighth with a Jason Bartlett walk and Nick Punto's single, bringing Zumaya out of the Detroit bullpen. Luis Rodriguez bunted the runners over, and Mike Redmond hit a two-run single off the right-field wall to tie it.

After a Michael Cuddyer double, Morneau was intentionally walked, loading the bases.

Zumaya struck out Torii Hunter before Mauer flared an inside pitch softly over Guillen at short and in front of Granderson in center.

"That was a good pitch, but he's a great hitter," Leyland said. "He fought it off and found an empty spot. Great hitters can do that. Lousy hitters can't."

Mauer's teammates weren't exactly surprised that he came up big.

"We might have to leave him on the bench just in case things like that happen in the eighth inning," Cuddyer said. "I got to second and Polanco says 'Oh god, that guy's coming up."'

Zumaya has allowed six runs in his last six outings, a stretch that he doesn't understand.

"I've never had anything like this happen before, which is why I'm kicking myself so hard," he said. "Usually, I'm hitting the corners, but right now I'm either walking guys or throwing it right down the middle."

Notes

  • Ortiz gave up two runs and five hits with four walks in six innings. He had pitched at least seven inning in each of his first four starts.
  • Monroe broke an 0-for-16 slump with a second-inning double.
  • With Ivan Rodriguez (foot) unavailable, the Tigers were down to Rabelo as their only catcher. Although Inge was a full-time catcher early in his career, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he would use INF Neifi Perez as the backup. Perez caught part of one inning for the Rockies in 1998.
  • Hunter played despite a swollen mouth after being hit by a pitch in Thursday's win over Kansas City. "Torii's Torii," Gardenhire said. "He came in and said he was good to go. He's got a fatter lip than normal, but he played. Game on."
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Detroit

C. Granderson
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Minnesota

J. Morneau
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Minnesota Twins
Nick Punto, 3B4110101 .192
Luis Rodriguez, 2B4000011 .182
Mike Redmond, C4112011 .240
Michael Cuddyer, RF4120011 .304
Justin Morneau, 1B3111100 .258
Torii Hunter, CF4010014 .312
Josh Rabe, DH3010001 .143
   a- Joe Mauer, PH-DH1012000 .373
Jason Kubel, LF4000014 .250
Jason Bartlett, SS3100101 .222
Totals3458535  
a-singled for Rabe in the 8th
Batting
2B - Michael Cuddyer (8, Zumaya)
HR - Justin Morneau (5, Robertson)
SH - Luis Rodriguez (1)
RBI - Mike Redmond 2 (10), Justin Morneau (14), Joe Mauer 2 (11)
2-OUT RBI - Joe Mauer 2 (5)
SB - Jason Bartlett (3, 2nd base off Robertson/Rabelo)
Team LOB - 6
Minnesota Twins
Ramon Ortiz 6522420 2.57
Jesse Crain (W,1-1) 1211010 6.00
Juan Rincon (H,5) 1200010 1.86
Joe Nathan (S,7) 1000010 2.19
Pitches-Strikes - Ramon Ortiz 108-68, Jesse Crain 18-12, Juan Rincon 19-12, Joe Nathan 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ramon Ortiz 5-10, Juan Rincon 1-1, Joe Nathan 1-1
Batters Faced - Ramon Ortiz 26, Jesse Crain 5, Juan Rincon 5, Joe Nathan 3
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF5120011 .292
Placido Polanco, 2B5011001 .352
Gary Sheffield, DH3100201 .160
Magglio Ordonez, RF3000113 .321
Carlos Guillen, SS4011002 .300
Sean Casey, 1B4120002 .203
Craig Monroe, LF4031000 .194
Mike Rabelo, C4000012 .000
Brandon Inge, 3B3000123 .129
Totals3539345  
Batting
2B - Curtis Granderson 2 (10, Ortiz, Crain), Placido Polanco (3, Crain), Sean Casey (4, Ortiz), Craig Monroe 2 (8, Ortiz, Ortiz)
RBI - Placido Polanco (12), Carlos Guillen (17), Craig Monroe (12)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Guillen (4), Craig Monroe (7)
SB - Gary Sheffield (3, 2nd base off Ortiz/Redmond)
CS - Brandon Inge (1, 2nd base by Ortiz/Redmond)
Team LOB - 9
Detroit Tigers
Nate Robertson 7533231 2.43
Joel Zumaya (BS,2; L,0-1) 0.2322110 4.50
Bobby Seay 1.1000010 1.93
IBB - Morneau by Joel Zumaya
Pitches-Strikes - Nate Robertson 95-58, Joel Zumaya 24-12, Bobby Seay 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nate Robertson 10-8, Joel Zumaya 1-0, Bobby Seay 2-1
Batters Faced - Nate Robertson 28, Joel Zumaya 6, Bobby Seay 4
Game Information
Attendance - 31147
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 53
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Brian Gorman, Third Base - Tom Hallion