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Questionable call helps Tigers rally past Twins

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers got the victory and Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire got ejected.

Brennan Boesch hit a go-ahead double shortly after a disputed play that wound up with Gardenhire getting tossed, and the Tigers rallied for six runs in the sixth inning to beat the Twins 11-6 on Wednesday night

"We've had a few comebacks, and that's been pretty important for us," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Our bullpen has done a great job for us, but we can't keep expecting to do this. We've got to get our starters deeper into games."

The Twins took an early 6-1 lead, and still led by a run in the sixth. With one out and a runner on first, Johnny Damon hit a deep drive and center fielder Denard Span appeared to make a running catch.

Span, however, lost the ball after taking two steps in the left-center field alley. After a lengthy discussion, the umpires ruled Span hadn't held the ball long enough for an out, and Gardenhire was ejected for arguing the call.

"The replay showed he caught the ball, took three steps, and dropped it when he went to take it out of his glove to throw it. That's all there is to that," Gardenhire said.

Detroit quickly took advantage of the two-base error. Pat Neshek relieved Ron Mahay and walked Magglio Ordonez, loading the bases. Miguel Cabrera was hit by a pitch that forced home the tying run, Boesch and Brandon Inge hit two-run doubles and Ryan Raburn added an RBI double.

"We fell behind tonight, but we felt like it was just a matter of time before we got the bats going," Inge said. "We were staying aggressive, and it worked out well for us in the end."

Damon was the only batter that Mahay (0-1) faced. Brad Thomas (1-0) picked up his first major league victory in relief, nine years after making his debut with the Twins.

"It's been a lot of hard work," said Thomas, who came into the game with a 8.44 ERA. "It's been embarrassing what happened before today, but I did my job today. You have to keep this team close, because we hit so well that there's always a chance."

Jim Thome's home run off Tigers starter Max Scherzer put the Twins ahead 2-0 in the first. The Tigers got a run back in the bottom half on Ordonez's RBI double.

In the third, Luke Hughes became the first Twin since 1984 to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat. Minnesota made it 6-1 on RBI singles by Jason Kubel, Span and Orlando Hudson in the fourth.

"This is a tough one, because when it was 6-1, it looked like we had the game under control," Gardenhire said. "Everything just went the wrong way after that."

Detroit's rally started against Minnesota starter Scott Baker in the fourth when Inge led off with a home run. Damon added an RBI groundout later in the inning and Ordonez followed with a two-run single.

"I was flying open all night, and I just couldn't make the adjustment I needed to get the ball down," Baker said. "I had been able to make pitches when I needed them, but it caught up with me in that inning."

Notes

  • Andre David was the last Minnesota player to hit a home run in his first at-bat, doing it on June 29, 1984, in Detroit.
  • As usual at Comerica Park, the fans threw Hughes' home-run ball back on to the field. Ordonez tossed it to a kid in the crowd before realizing the Twins were asking for it. Luckily for Hughes, the young fan immediately returned the ball to Ordonez upon his request. "That was a little crazy -- people were throwing the ball back and forth, but we ended up with it," Gardenhire said.
  • Ordonez's three hits gave him 1,999 for his career.
  • Twins 1B Justin Morneau sat out, one day after leaving the victory Tuesday with a stiff back. Gardenhire said he doesn't expect Morneau to play in the series finale Thursday afternoon, but hopes to have him back for a weekend series in Cleveland.
 
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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Ron Gardenhire loses this argument with Gary Darling, and eventually the game to a division rival.  (AP)
Ron Gardenhire loses this argument with Gary Darling, and eventually the game to a division rival. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

M. Ordonez
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 3
Minnesota

J. Thome
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

Related Video

Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF4011111 .232
Orlando Hudson, 2B5121012 .279
Joe Mauer, C5010004 .346
Jim Thome, DH4122021 .282
Michael Cuddyer, 1B4110011 .302
Jason Kubel, RF4131001 .212
Delmon Young, LF4110012 .246
J.J. Hardy, SS4010013 .218
Luke Hughes, 3B4111014 .250
Totals38613618  
Batting
2B - Michael Cuddyer (5, Scherzer), J.J. Hardy (3, Thomas)
HR - Jim Thome (4, Scherzer), Luke Hughes (1, Scherzer)
RBI - Denard Span (8), Orlando Hudson (6), Jim Thome 2 (10), Jason Kubel (9), Luke Hughes (1)
2-OUT RBI - Denard Span (4), Orlando Hudson (2), Jim Thome 2 (2)
CS - Delmon Young (1, 3rd base by Scherzer/Avila)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Hughes-Hudson-Cuddyer
E - Denard Span (1, Dropped fly)
Minnesota Twins
Scott Baker 4955351 5.72
Alex Burnett 1.1111010 3.12
Ron Mahay (L,0-1)0010000 0.00
Pat Neshek (BS,1)0022100 4.15
Jesse Crain 2.2322020 7.20
HBP - Cabrera (by Pat Neshek)
WP - Scott Baker (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 80-48, Alex Burnett 21-14, Ron Mahay 7-5, Pat Neshek 8-1, Jesse Crain 25-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 6-0, Alex Burnett 2-1, Jesse Crain 1-5
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 23, Alex Burnett 5, Ron Mahay 1, Pat Neshek 2, Jesse Crain 11
Detroit Tigers
Austin Jackson, CF4320102 .322
Johnny Damon, DH5111020 .321
Magglio Ordonez, RF4133100 .301
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4101013 .341
Brennan Boesch, LF4122002 .313
    Don Kelly, LF1000000 .200
Brandon Inge, 3B5223021 .265
Ryan Raburn, 2B3111121 .222
Alex Avila, C3000113 .097
Ramon Santiago, SS4120001 .326
Totals3711131148  
Batting
2B - Austin Jackson (6, Baker), Magglio Ordonez (5, Baker), Brennan Boesch 2 (3, Baker, Crain), Brandon Inge (10, Crain), Ryan Raburn (4, Crain)
HR - Brandon Inge (3, Baker)
RBI - Johnny Damon (9), Magglio Ordonez 3 (17), Miguel Cabrera (25), Brennan Boesch 2 (3), Brandon Inge 3 (14), Ryan Raburn (5)
2-OUT RBI - Magglio Ordonez 2 (8)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Valverde-Cabrera
Detroit Tigers
Max Scherzer 3.21066032 4.23
Brad Thomas (W,1-0) 2.1200020 6.92
Phil Coke 2100030 1.38
Jose Valverde 1000100 0.90
Pitches-Strikes - Max Scherzer 84-59, Brad Thomas 27-21, Phil Coke 27-19, Jose Valverde 14-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Max Scherzer 4-3, Brad Thomas 3-2, Phil Coke 1-2
Batters Faced - Max Scherzer 20, Brad Thomas 9, Phil Coke 7, Jose Valverde 3
Game Information
Attendance - 19900
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Mike Estabrook, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Paul Emmel