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Detroit at Minnesota

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Detroit (73-60)0200020004110
Minnesota (56-77) «20130140x11121

Twins down first-place Tigers to end seven-game skid

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Detroit Tigers have entered the final month of the season with a sizable lead in the American League Central race -- and the confidence of a contender.

They're feeling good enough about their situation that they weren't too disappointed by a lopsided loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Luke Hughes hit two home runs to help the Twins take out their hitting frustration on Brad Penny and the Tigers, stopping a seven-game losing streak with an 11-4 victory on Sunday.

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"When they got to 11, I think we all were kind of like, 'Well, it's been a pretty good trip,"' manager Jim Leyland said.

The Tigers went 5-2 on the road this week, winning three out of four against the Rays and taking two of three from the Twins.

"You can't get hung up on these emotional, day-to-day rolls," Leyland said. "I mean, we got beat today. I don't have any problem with that."

He added: "Five out of seven in Florida against that pitching staff and up here? I'll take that any time. That'll put you in a pretty good position. We just have to go home and continue to play well."

Hughes has gone deep three times in two games. He drove in five runs for the first time in his career, backing Brian Duensing (9-13) and sparking the Twins to just their fourth win against the Tigers in their last 19 meetings.

Penny (9-10) didn't exude quite the same relaxed manner as his manager. The right-hander gave up eight hits, seven runs and two walks in five innings. He struck out five, but the Tigers fell to 52-52 when Justin Verlander doesn't start. They're 21-8 when their dazzling, dominant right-hander takes the mound.

"Two outs, one out, no outs, it doesn't matter to me," Penny said. "They scored the runs, and it is what it is."

Jason Kubel also homered, a two-run shot in the first inning, off Penny and drove in three runs. After scoring just nine runs in the previous seven games, the Twins finally broke out. They were without regulars Michael Cuddyer, Joe Mauer, Alexi Casilla and Denard Span, too.

Hughes, an Australian who has been back and forth between Minnesota and Triple-A Rochester four times this season, hit a two-run drive off an 0-1 changeup from Penny and it bounced off the wall behind the bullpen in right-center field in the fourth inning. That followed an RBI triple by Rene Tosoni. Then Hughes hit a three-run homer on a 1-0 sinker from David Pauley in the seventh.

Hughes said he was prepared to be aggressive.

"Penny comes after you," he said.

The Tigers hit into five double plays while missing an opportunity to stretch their division lead to the biggest of the season. They have a 6½-game lead on the Indians and began the day with a seven-game edge over the White Sox.

Duensing induced three double plays to limit the damage. He allowed seven hits, four runs and three walks in six innings, but the left-hander was just happy to win. He was 0-5 with an 8.65 ERA in his first five August starts.

"It was kind of a confidence boost to see that my sinker was actually getting groundballs for once," Duensing said.

The Twins won at home for just the third time in their last 18 games at Target Field.

Ramon Santiago had four hits and two RBI for the Tigers, and Victor Martinez had two singles and drove in a run. The Tigers are 32-19 against division opponents this season. Their next 16 games are against AL Central foes.

"The pitching's been great for us all road trip," Santiago said. "The pitching is our weapon. With the offense we have, we can score a couple of runs. I think we're going to be OK."

Notes

  • Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who recently ended his presidential campaign, sat in the first row behind the Tigers' dugout and gave his wife, Mary, a firm smooch when the sixth inning "Kiss Cam" feature showed them on the big screen.
  • The Tigers will send RH Max Scherzer (13-7) to the mound on Monday to start a four-game series at home against Kansas City. RH Luke Hochevar will start for the Royals.
  • The Twins start a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox on Monday, with RH Kevin Slowey (0-2) pitching against LH Mark Buehrle (10-6).
  • The Tigers had utility man Don Kelly back from paternity leave, but OF Brennan Boesch (sprained thumb) and versatile backup Ryan Raburn (jammed finger) were out. Manager Jim Leyland told Raburn he wanted him to treat the injury all day so he can be back soon. He also expressed concern about Boesch's lingering absence. "He's a big key for us," Leyland said.
 
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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Luke Hughes helps the Twins stop a seven-game slide with his two home runs vs. the Tigers. (Getty Images)
Luke Hughes helps the Twins stop a seven-game slide with his two home runs vs. the Tigers. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

L. Hughes
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 5
Detroit

R. Santiago
AB 4
R 0
H 4
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF3000114 .242
Magglio Ordonez, RF4010003 .230
Delmon Young, LF4110001 .271
Miguel Cabrera, 1B3110111 .324
    Don Kelly, 1B0000000 .228
Victor Martinez, DH3121001 .325
Alex Avila, C4111021 .304
Jhonny Peralta, SS3010112 .308
Ramon Santiago, 2B4042000 .251
Brandon Inge, 3B2000003 .180
   a- Wilson Betemit, PH-3B2000013 .290
Totals32411436  
a-grounded into a double play for Inge in the 7th
Batting
2B - Miguel Cabrera (34, Duensing), Alex Avila (26, Duensing)
SF - Victor Martinez (7)
RBI - Victor Martinez (75), Alex Avila (65), Ramon Santiago 2 (20)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Austin Jackson 1
DP - Jackson-Peralta
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brad Penny (L,9-10) 5877252 5.07
David Pauley 2444111 2.89
Duane Below 1000010 3.38
WP - Brad Penny (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Penny 101-64, David Pauley 35-21, Duane Below 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Penny 7-2, David Pauley 2-3, Duane Below 2-0
Batters Faced - Brad Penny 24, David Pauley 11, Duane Below 3
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ben Revere, CF4110111 .255
Trevor Plouffe, SS5220022 .233
Justin Morneau, 1B4131011 .227
Jason Kubel, DH4113001 .283
Danny Valencia, 3B3210100 .252
Rene Tosoni, LF3211101 .185
Luke Hughes, 2B4225001 .245
Jason Repko, RF4010010 .248
Rene Rivera, C3001020 .173
Totals3411121137  
Batting
3B - Rene Tosoni (1, Penny)
HR - Jason Kubel (10, Penny), Luke Hughes 2 (6, Penny, Pauley)
SF - Rene Rivera (1)
RBI - Justin Morneau (30), Jason Kubel 3 (48), Rene Tosoni (13), Luke Hughes 5 (24), Rene Rivera (5)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Morneau (18), Jason Kubel 2 (20), Luke Hughes 3 (12)
SB - Ben Revere (25, 2nd base off Penny/Avila), Jason Repko (7, 2nd base off Pauley/Avila)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Plouffe-Hughes-Morneau, Plouffe-Hughes-Morneau, Morneau-Plouffe, Plouffe-Hughes-Morneau, Morneau
E - Rene Tosoni (2, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brian Duensing (W,9-13) 6743340 5.09
Alex Burnett (H,8) 1100000 5.28
Glen Perkins 1100010 2.35
Jose Mijares 1200010 4.83
HBP - Jackson (by Alex Burnett)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Duensing 93-57, Alex Burnett 14-8, Glen Perkins 16-11, Jose Mijares 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Duensing 6-5, Alex Burnett 2-0, Glen Perkins 1-1
Batters Faced - Brian Duensing 25, Alex Burnett 4, Glen Perkins 4, Jose Mijares 4
Game Information
Attendance - 39130
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Al Porter, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman