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Mauer, Hunter deliver early blows to help sink Tigers, 6-2

Losing streak: stopped.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

After such a hot streak by a team that most pundits (and many fans) expected to not be improved over 2014, an early test of the club's resolve would be to see how they responded once they lost a couple games in a row. On Wednesday night, the Twins started their rebound on the right foot.

Kyle Lobstein never really had good stuff. Traditional wisdom says that pitchers have an advantage when facing a hitter they've rarely seen, but that wasn't the case this time around and it was evident from the get-go. Brian Dozier lined a single into center field to start the game, and nearly stretched it into a double until Yoenis Cespedes' miracle of an arm gunned him down. That may have been Lobstein's highlight.

Torii Hunter graced the Detroit faithful with a home run over the left field fence three pitches later. Fast forward to the top of the third and Joe Mauer lined a cutter into the right-center field gap for a bases-clearing triple. Trevor Plouffe hit the very next pitch in almost the exact same place for his own triple. Kurt Suzuki drove a changeup into the other gap for a double. By that point it was 6-0, Lobstein was done, and - for all intents and purposes - the game was over.

Ricky Nolasco was good. His breaking balls were as good as they've been since he put on a Twins uniform as he struck out seven over five and a third. Ideally he'd be going seven innings with 106 pitches, but a deflection and an error in the sixth meant that Nolasco probably should have gotten through six. Instead, Aaron Thompson allowed the first two batters he faced to score as unearned runs.

Still, it was as close as the Tigers would get. Michael Tonkin, Brian Duensing, Blaine Boyer, and Glen Perkins blanked Detroit over the final three frames and that was the game. The Twins have tied the series at one, but have a tough pitcher to go through on Thursday if they want to steal a series in Detroit.

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Ricky Nolasco
Torii Hunter
Joe Mauer
Kurt Suzuki
Aaron Hicks