|Detroit (62-55) «||2||2||0||0||0||1||1||0||2||8||13||2|
MINNEAPOLIS -- Doug Fister's strong outing helped Detroit overcome a bad inning on defense.
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Fister (7-7) did not allow an earned run and struck out seven to win for the third time in four starts.
"Tonight was a little bit of a struggle at times, but we ended up working together and pulling it out," he said. "We showed when there's a couple mishaps or whatever we can still stick together and play. We still got the things done that we need to get done to pull out a team win."
The Tigers overcame two errors in the third inning to end a three-game slide. Detroit remains two games back of Chicago in the AL Central.
Josh Willingham hit his career-high 30th home run for Minnesota.
Cabrera got his 100th RBI with a seventh-inning single off Casey Fien, becoming the third player in Tigers history to collect at least 100 RBI in five or more consecutive seasons.
Harry Heilmann did it in seven straight seasons (1923-29) and Charlie Gehringer did so in five straight (1932-36). Cabrera added an RBI double in the ninth.
"He'll have five more with 100 unless he gets hurt," said manager Jim Leyland. "He can hit the ball 450 feet to 500 feet, and he can hit it over the first baseman's head or down the left-field line. Just a great hitter."
This is the second straight year that Fister has thrived in the season's second half.
In seven starts since the All-Star break, the right-hander is 5-1 with a 1.52 ERA and 48 strikeouts. Last year, Fister was 8-1 down the stretch for the Tigers after being acquired in a trade with Seattle.
"It's just been some fine-tuning," said Fister, who also battled a left-side strain earlier in the season. "Being able to stay consistent is my biggest focus and the only way to do it is to get out there and do it, get the confidence, get the feel, the touch."
Other than an inning where two errors led to all of Minnesota's runs, Fister retired 21 of 26, including Joe Mauer and Willingham to start the eighth before Justin Morneau doubled to center. Ryan Doumit grounded out to end the threat.
"He still had pretty good stuff at the end, and with the ability to change speeds and everything we left him in there," Leyland said. "I was a little nervous when Morneau hit the double, but he made a good pitch and got through it."
Fister threw a season-high 120 pitches.
Duensing had two bad innings and he continues to struggle since joining the Minnesota rotation June 23. He allowed five runs in six innings, striking out four.
He's now 1-6 with a 6.34 ERA in eight starts overall this season. He's allowed 16 runs -- 11 earned -- and 29 hits in 19 innings while going 0-2 in three starts this month.
The Tigers offense gave Fister plenty of early support.
"It's really frustrating when you come out and put your team down right away, it's hard to have a chance to win," Duensing said. "I don't know if I'm coming out too amped or what, but the ball seems to be up in the zone, and I don't get away with much that way."
But the Tigers were sloppy on defense in the third inning with two errors leading to four unearned runs.
Omar Infante began the inning by misplaying a grounder by Jamey Carroll. One out and three batters later, Darin Mastroianni hit a grounder to Infante, who was unable to tag Ben Revere running to second base -- he singled. Infante's throw to first would have gotten Mastroianni, but Prince Fielder pulled his foot off the bag.
Fielder then threw wildly to second trying to force Revere, allowing Carroll to score. Two batters later Willingham hit a three-run home run into the bullpens.
"It felt good, but I wish we would have won the game," Willingham said.
|Miguel Cabrera connects for a single -- one of his three hits on the night -- during the fifth inning against the Twins. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Austin Jackson, CF||3||1||1||1||2||0||2||.314|
|Omar Infante, 2B||5||3||2||0||0||0||1||.291|
|Miguel Cabrera, 3B||5||1||3||2||0||1||3||.326|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||4||0||0||0||1||1||2||.304|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||5||0||1||2||0||2||2||.261|
|Delmon Young, DH||5||0||2||1||0||0||2||.265|
|Jeff Baker, RF||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.262|
|a- Quintin Berry, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.273|
|Andy Dirks, LF-RF||3||2||2||1||2||0||0||.339|
|Gerald Laird, C||5||1||2||1||0||0||5||.295|
|a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Baker in the 8th|
|2B - Austin Jackson (20, Duensing), Miguel Cabrera (31, Burnett), Delmon Young (18, Duensing)|
|3B - Omar Infante (5, Fien), Gerald Laird (1, Duensing)|
|HR - Andy Dirks (5, Duensing)|
|SH - Quintin Berry (4)|
|RBI - Austin Jackson (53), Miguel Cabrera 2 (101), Jhonny Peralta 2 (44), Delmon Young (47), Andy Dirks (23), Gerald Laird (7)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jhonny Peralta 2 (24)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|E - Prince Fielder (8, Throwing), Omar Infante (13, Misplayed grounder)|
|Doug Fister (W,7-7)||8||5||4||0||2||7||1||3.24|
|Pitches-Strikes - Doug Fister 120-82, Jose Valverde 22-17|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Fister 15-4, Jose Valverde 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Doug Fister 33, Jose Valverde 4|
|Ben Revere, CF||5||1||2||0||0||0||2||.317|
|Darin Mastroianni, RF||3||1||0||1||0||0||1||.288|
|Joe Mauer, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||1||3||.318|
|Josh Willingham, LF||4||1||1||3||0||2||2||.264|
|Justin Morneau, DH||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.275|
|Ryan Doumit, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.297|
|Trevor Plouffe, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.251|
|Jamey Carroll, SS||4||1||0||0||0||2||1||.247|
|Alexi Casilla, 2B||3||0||1||0||1||1||1||.222|
|2B - Justin Morneau (23, Fister), Ryan Doumit (25, Fister)|
|HR - Josh Willingham (30, Fister)|
|SH - Darin Mastroianni (2)|
|RBI - Darin Mastroianni (15), Josh Willingham 3 (88)|
|2-OUT RBI - Josh Willingham 3 (34)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Outfield Assists - Darin Mastroianni 1|
|DP - Carroll-Mauer|
|E - Jamey Carroll (10, Misplayed grounder), Trevor Plouffe (11, Throwing)|
|Brian Duensing (L,2-8)||6||8||5||5||2||4||1||4.69|
|IBB - Dirks by Casey Fien, Fielder by Alex Burnett, Dirks by Luis Perdomo|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brian Duensing 91-60, Casey Fien 24-15, Alex Burnett 31-18, Luis Perdomo 14-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Duensing 6-8, Casey Fien 2-0, Alex Burnett 2-2, Luis Perdomo 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Brian Duensing 28, Casey Fien 7, Alex Burnett 7, Luis Perdomo 3|
|Attendance - 37544|
|Game Time - 2:54|
|Temperature - 75|
|Umpires - Home - Al Porter, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Derryl Cousins|