The Twins beat the central division-leading Tigers 6-2 Tuesday night at the Metrodome.
Twins hitters continued their dominance of Tigers stalwart Armando Galarraga, producing two 2-run homers--by Joe Crede and Joe Mauer--reaping the rewards for their patient approach at the plate. The Twins worked out six walks on the night, and three of them came around to score. Even Carlos Gomez, coming in as a late-inning replacement for Delmon Young--worked out a nine-pitch walk off of Ryan Perry, stole second and scored on a single by Denard Span to add an insurance run in the eighth. Joe Mauer and Denard Span had two hits a piece and six different Twins scored for a balanced attack overall. The Twins had base runners in every inning but left 14 on base, so it could have been a much more lobsided score.
Kevin Slowey wiggled out of trouble through six innings, and the bullpen managed to avoid a major catastrophe to close out the win. Slowey was effectively wild, needing 98 pitches through six innings. But he benefited from two key double plays to keep the Twins on top. Jesse Crain relieved Slowey in the seventh and promptly gave up a homer to the number nine hitter (Ramon Santiago) and a walk to Curtis Granderson before being pulled in favor of Jose Mijares. Mikares, Guerrier, and Nathan combined for nine outs without allowing a baserunner and striking out three to shut the door.
All in all, it was a solid win to start the three-game series against an emerging division rival. Combine that with Kansas City getting trounced by Oakland and we'll call it a good night.
3. Denard Span: Two hits, a run and an RBI. His only blemish was making the third out at third base in the bottom of the eighth inning with Joe Mauer at the plate. Doh!
2. Jose Mijares: Came in when the Tigers looked to rally with Jesse Crain's mistakes and he put out the fire for 1 1/3 spotless innings.
1. Joe Mauer: Two more hits, including a homer and a walk. Plus he coaxed several key outs out of a wobbly Kevin Slowey. His only out was on a ball that Clete Thomas brought back from over the left-field wall on a Web Gem. Without that play, this easily could have been a 3-3 night with two dingers and a walk.
Honorable mention: Joe Crede started the scoring with a two-run homer.
3. Nick Punto: Another 0-3 night puts him one hit on the good side of the Mendoza line.
2. Delmon Young: An 0-3 night with a strikeout and two weak grounders to the right side. Also, a misplay in left led to a gift double to start the game.
1. Jesse Crain: 11 pitches, 4 strikes, HR, BB 0 outs, hook. He doesn't seem right since coming off the DL.