(Sports Network) – Denard Span tied a modern-era record with three triples and finished 4-for-4 with five RBI and two runs scored to lead the Minnesota Twins to an easy 11-4 win over the Detroit Tigers.
Nick Blackburn pitched seven innings and earned the win for the Twins, who rebounded from a 7-5 setback in Monday’s opener of this three-games series and moved into sole possession of first place — one-half gave above Detroit — in the tight AL Central standings. Blackburn (7-5), who had not won in over a month, allowed four runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
Michael Cuddyer added two RBI while Nick Punto scored twice in the victory.
Johnny Damon posted two runs batted in and a run scored for the Tigers, who saw their two-game win streak halted and have lost four of their five games in Minneapolis this season.
Armando Galarraga (3-2) suffered the loss and allowed six runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and two walks over four-plus frames.
The Twins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Span led off with a triple and easily scored when Orlando Hudson followed with a double. With two outs, Jason Kubel doubled for the two-run edge.
A three-run output in the top of the third put the visitors ahead by one. Ramon Santiago singled with one out and Austin Jackson doubled before Damon brought both runners home with a two-base hit to center field. Later in the frame, a single by Miguel Cabrera brought home Damon.
Justin Morneau’s RBI single in the bottom of the frame tied the score. Span led off with a single, moved to second on a groundout and eventually scored on Morneau’s 50th run batted in of the campaign.
Two more Minnesota runs in the fourth made it 5-3 when Span’s second three- bagger of the contest scored Jim Thome and Punto.
A five-run explosion in the home fifth turned the contest into a rout. Joe Mauer singled leading off and Kubel drew a one-out walk before both crossed the plate on a double to left field by Cuddyer. Consecutive walks to Delmon Young and Punto loaded the bases for Span, who again tripled for a 10-3 advantage.
Brandon Inge’s groundout brought home Cabrera in the sixth and the scoring was capped by Thome’s solo home run in the seventh.
The last Minnesota player to hit three triples in a game was Ken Landreaux, who turned the trick against Texas on July 3, 1980…The Twins outhit the Tigers, 13-7…Span upped his 2010 RBI total to 34.