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Minnesota at Detroit

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Minnesota (55-70)000000100162
Detroit (74-52) «00000043x7130

Hunter sparks Tigers past Twins; Cabrera up to 123 RBI

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Torii Hunter put the Tigers ahead with his bat and scored two runs with his 38-year-old legs to help Detroit beat the Minnesota Twins 7-1 on Wednesday night.

Minnesota let the AL Central-leading Tigers score four runs with two outs in the seventh, and three more with two outs in the eighth.

On a pivotal play in the seventh, right fielder Chris Hermann failed to get to Hunter's drive between him and center fielder Clete Thomas, allowing Austin Jackson to score easily from first.

After Miguel Cabrera was walked intentionally, Prince Fielder struck out, but backup catcher Ryan Doumit let the ball get past him and relief pitcher Caleb Thielbar didn't cover home plate. That mistake gave Hunter a clear path to score.

"I was always told by Kirby Puckett, 'Be a hyena. Always take advantage of the weak link,' " Hunter said.

"I saw the pitcher sitting there, looking at the play and the plate was wide open. That play never develops if Prince doesn't run. He did what he had to do, make them throw the ball and I was able to score."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire lamented the mental mistake by the 26-year-old Thielbar.

"The kid got caught watching the play and didn't get to home plate," Gardenhire said. "That's automatic. You have to cover the plate. He knows that better than anyone right now."

Victor Martinez followed with an RBI double to put Detroit up 4-1.

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier bobbled a grounder in the eighth, the team's first error in six games, and the miscue loaded the bases for Cabrera, who cleared them with his 25th double that gave him 123 RBI.

The Tigers pinch-ran for Cabrera, who has been playing in pain, but felt better Wednesday than he did Tuesday when he aggravated a strain in his groin, abdominal and hip area.

"I was pleased with his health," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

Drew Smyly (5-0) struck out two in a perfect inning in relief of Anibal Sanchez. Jose Veras entered with two outs in the eighth inning and closed the game for his first save with the Tigers.

Kevin Correia (8-10) allowed four runs -- two earned -- and nine hits over 6 2/3 innings.

"I got us right into the position we needed to be, and I blew it," he said.

Sanchez gave up one run and six hits over 6 2/3 innings.

"Both starters were terrific," Leyland said. "Then, we finally broke through."

And, Hunter had a lot to do with that.

"He's one of the toughest players I've ever managed," Leyland said. "In big situations, he gets tougher."

Gardenhire knows that perhaps as much as anyone because he was his manager for several years, and was among the least surprised at Comerica Park when he took advantage of the Twins' poor play.

"We've seen him do things like that so many times," he said. "That's just the way he plays the game. He had a huge at-bat, flipped the ball the other way for the double, and then he makes the hustle play when we fall asleep."

After six scoreless innings, Dozier hit a two-out single in the seventh to give Minnesota the lead -- briefly.

Pedro Florimon drew a walk on a full-count pitch in the seventh. He stole second, the 15th consecutive stolen base against the Tigers, who were relegated to using their third-best catcher, Bryan Holaday, who was filling in for injured backup Brayan Pena and starter Alex Avila who is on the concussion disabled list.

The Tigers gave up a 16th consecutive stolen base later in the inning, extending the longest active streak in the major leagues, according to STATS LLC.

Minnesota was without All-Star catcher Joe Mauer for the second straight day because he is on the seven-day concussion DL.

Both teams had five hits through four innings and combined to leave 10 runners on base.

Minnesota's Justin Morneau had two of his team's first four hits, including a double in the third, a day after having a season-high four hits.

Notes

  • Avila was cleared for a rehab assignment, and is scheduled to play for Triple-A Toledo on Thursday at Louisville.
  • The Twins recalled Chris Colabello from Triple-A Rochester to take Joe Mauer's spot on the roster, and put the rookie at 1B on Wednesday.
  • Pena missed the game with a bruised big right toe.
  • The Twins expect RHP Samuel Deduno (biceps tendinitis) to make his scheduled start Friday at Cleveland.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Torii Hunter follows through on his go-ahead two-run double. Hunter later scores in the seventh and eighth innings.  (USATSI)
Torii Hunter follows through on his go-ahead two-run double. Hunter later scores in the seventh and eighth innings. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Detroit

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

B. Dozier
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brian Dozier, 2B4011010 .242
Chris Herrmann, RF4000011 .212
Justin Morneau, DH4020010 .269
Ryan Doumit, C3000121 .242
Chris Colabello, 1B4000032 .211
Trevor Plouffe, 3B4000000 .232
Clete Thomas, CF4010020 .224
Wilkin Ramirez, LF4020010 .281
Pedro Florimon, SS2100113 .216
Totals33161212  
Batting
2B - Justin Morneau (32, Sanchez), Wilkin Ramirez (5, Sanchez)
RBI - Brian Dozier (51)
2-OUT RBI - Brian Dozier (21)
SB - Brian Dozier (10, 2nd base off Smyly/Holaday), Pedro Florimon (9, 2nd base off Sanchez/Holaday)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Florimon-Dozier-Colabello
E - Brian Dozier 2 (5, Misplayed grounder)
PB - Ryan Doumit (3)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kevin Correia (L,8-10) 6.2942210 4.52
Caleb Thielbar 0100010 0.87
Casey Fien 0.1000000 3.68
Michael Tonkin 1330110 0.00
IBB - Cabrera by Kevin Correia
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 104-70, Caleb Thielbar 10-6, Casey Fien 3-2, Michael Tonkin 26-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 11-7, Casey Fien 1-0, Michael Tonkin 2-2
Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 30, Caleb Thielbar 2, Casey Fien 1, Michael Tonkin 9
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF5230011 .267
Torii Hunter, RF5222001 .307
Miguel Cabrera, 3B4113102 .358
Prince Fielder, 1B4000112 .258
Victor Martinez, DH4021101 .285
Andy Dirks, LF3010002 .246
   b-Don Kelly, PH-LF2000005 .241
Omar Infante, 2B4110002 .311
Jose Iglesias, SS4020011 .324
Bryan Holaday, C3110003 .217
Totals38713633  
a-announced for Dirks in the 7th
b-grounded out for Tuiasosopo in the 7th
Batting
2B - Torii Hunter (29, Correia), Miguel Cabrera (25, Tonkin), Victor Martinez (28, Thielbar)
SH - Bryan Holaday (2)
RBI - Torii Hunter 2 (64), Miguel Cabrera 3 (123), Victor Martinez (68)
2-OUT RBI - Torii Hunter 2 (18), Miguel Cabrera 3 (51), Victor Martinez (26)
Team LOB - 11
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Anibal Sanchez 6.2611280 2.45
Drew Smyly (W,5-0) 1000020 2.01
Jose Veras (S,20) 1.1000020 2.85
WP - Anibal Sanchez 2 (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Anibal Sanchez 112-74, Drew Smyly 14-8, Jose Veras 23-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anibal Sanchez 7-5, Jose Veras 2-0
Batters Faced - Anibal Sanchez 28, Drew Smyly 3, Jose Veras 4
Game Information
Attendance - 38092
Game Time - 3:05
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Jordan Baker, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Field Culbreth