Tigers 8, Twins 4: Willingham Hits 30th Homerun, but Twins Fall Apart for the Loss

"What are you guys doing out here? He's GERALD LAIRD."

After Detroit jumped out to an early four-run lead, Josh Willingham was able to tie the game up in the third inning with his team-leading 30th homerun of the year. Unfortunately, the Twins couldn't keep up with the Tigers, falling apart like a soggy Schweigert's Dinger Dog bun in the later innings to hand the win to Detroit and move back into last place in the AL central standings.

Brian Duensing struggled for the Twins, giving up four runs in the first two innings--the most notable run coming on an RBI triple by Gerald Laird, which caused "Gerald Laird" to trend nationally on Twitter because he's Gerald Laird and he hit a triple. It was the eighth triple of his nine-year career, and his first since April 30th, 2011. (If you're wondering how this happened, Darin Mastroianni missed a diving catch in right field and the ball rolled all the way back into the corner.)

The Tigers Twins tied things up in the bottom of the third inning with four unearned runs off starter Doug Fister. Errors by Omar Infante and Prince Fielder allowed Jamey Carroll to score and Ben Revere and Darin Mastroianni to remain safe at third and first--just in time for Joe Mauer to strike out swinging Josh Willingham to hit a three-run homerun to tie the game 4-4. It was Willingham's 30th dinger of the season, marking his single-season career-best and the Twins' first 30 homerun-hitter since Michael Cuddyer hit 32 homeruns in 2009.

Alas--the Twins couldn't hold it together.

Andy Dirks hit a solo homerun in the 6th inning; Cabrera drove in another run in the 7th inning; then the 9th inning rolled around and the Twins lost it, allowing Infante to reach on an error, be driven in by Cabrera, then allowing Cabrera to score another run of his own on yet another Twins error.

Welcome back to the AL Central cellar, Minnesota Twins!

Studs and duds after the jump.

Studs

  • Josh Willingham: Drove in three runs on his team-leading 30th homerun of the year.
Duds
  • Trevor Plouffe: 0 for 4, 1 strikeout, 1 error.
  • Joe Mauer: 0 for 3, 1 strikeout, 1 walk, no homeruns, lost the game, didn't even catch, etc.
  • Jamey Carroll: 0 for 4, 1 run, 2 strikeouts, 1 error.
  • Brian Duensing: 6 innings pitched, 8 hits, 5 earned runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 1 homerun surrendered.
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