MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 11: Luke Hughes #38, Denard Span #2, Jason Kubel #16 and Justin Morneau #33 of the Minnesota Twins celebrate a three-run home run by Kubel off Daniel Schlereth #55 of the Detroit Tigers during in the seventh inning of their game on May 11, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Tigers defeated the Twins 9-7. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Tigers At Twins: Twins Drop Fifth Straight With 9-7 Loss To Detroit

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Twins Pitching Pitiful Again In 9-7 Loss To Tigers

The Minnesota Twins dropped their fifth straight game on Wednesday afternoon, as it was the pitching that let down the offense for a change.

Despite their third-highest run total of the season, the Twins couldn't pull out a victory, as they fell 9-7 to the Detroit Tigers, allowing themselves to be swept in the abbreviated series at Target Field.

It looked like it would be more of the same in this one, as the Twins fell behind early on a Victor Martinez RBI single in the top of the first, but the Twins mounted a comeback, plating single runs in the second and third innings to take a 2-1 lead. Martinez then struck again in the top of the fourth with a solo home run to tie the score at two, and they brought in two more in the top of the fifth thanks to a 2-run double by Miguel Cabrera and a single by Martinez. . .yes, again. The Tigers maintained their 5-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh, and appeared that they would coast to victory against the struggling Twins.

However, the Twins erupted for four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Rene Rivera walked to start the inning, and after a fly out by Matt Tolbert, Denard Span drew a walk as well. A passed ball by Detroit catcher Alex Avila allowed both runners to move up, and Luke Hughes' double plated Rivera and advanced Span to third. Jason Kubel. . .the Twins' best hitter this season by a wide margin. . .launched a three-run homer to right field, and the Twins took a 6-5 lead.

That lead would last all of about fifteen minutes. Jose Mijares came in to pitch the top of the eighth inning, and got Scott Sizemore to fly out before walking Brendan Boesch. The Tigers then turned to their bench, putting Jhonny Peralta into the lineup for Don Kelly, and Ron Gardenhire responded by bringing closer Matt Capps in from the bullpen. Capps rewarded Gardenhire's faith in him by. . .letting Peralta launch a two-run homer into the left field stands to give the Tigers a 7-6 lead. It was Capps' first blown save since taking over the closer's role from Joe Nathan.

The Twins tied it up again in the bottom of the eighth, however, on Tolbert's RBI double that scored Ben Revere, and we went to the top of the ninth tied at seven. Capps remained in the game, and promptly gave up two more runs, one on Brandon Inge's RBI triple, and another on a squeeze bunt by Austin Jackson to score Inge. The Twins managed nothing off of Tigers' closer Jose Valverde in the bottom of the ninth, and were sent to their fifth consecutive loss.

Joaquin Benoit got credited with the victory for the Tigers, after allowing a run and three hits in 1.2 innings. His record on the year is now 1-2. Capps took the loss for Minnesota, and his record is now 1-2 as well. As far as the starters, Scott Baker lasted only 4.1 innings, allowing five runs and six hits. For the Tigers, Phil Coke pitched fairly well, giving up two runs on five hits in 5.2 innings. Neither of them figured in the decision.

The Twins will have an off-day on Friday. . .as opposed to the off-days they've had for the last five games. . .and will resume things on Friday night when they host the Toronto Blue Jays. The pitching match-up at this point in time has Ricky Romero (2-4, 4.04 ERA) taking the mound for Toronto, and Carl Pavano (2-4, 6.64 ERA) heading to the hill for Minnesota.


Baker, Twins Look To End Losing Skid In Matinee With Tigers

The Twins got shelled for their fourth consecutive loss last night, while their anemic offense produced only two runs. They have the worst offense in baseball by nearly any measure, and they have the worst record in Major League Baseball to show for it.

Stop us if you've heard this before. You have? OK, we'll move on then.

The good news for the Twins is that they have their best starting pitcher taking the mound today. Scott Baker dropped his first two decisions of the year, but he's 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA over his last four starts. Outside of Francisco Liriano's no-hitter last week, Baker has been the lone bright spot on Minnesota's pitching staff during their incredibly disappointing start to 2011.

If Baker wants to keep his positive trend going, he may want to avoid Tigers slugger Victor Martinez. Martinez struggled a bit out of the gate this season, but he's hitting .472 in the past ten games after getting three hits and four RBI in last night's "contest".

Taking the mound for the Tigers is Phil Coke, making his first start against the Twins as a member of the Tigers. Coke has been knocked around lately, going 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in his last four starts. The embarrassingly depleted Twins lineup will try to prolong Coke's struggles and end their latest losing streak.

First pitch at Target Field is at 12:10 PM CT.


Twins Routed By Tigers, 10-2

In his first start after pitching a no-hitter, Francisco Liriano lasted only three innings before he was lifted due to illness. When compared to the people in attendance at Target Field on Tuesday night, it looks like Liriano got off easy.

The Twins once again looked lifeless and flat, and as a result ended up getting blown out by the Detroit Tigers at Target Field by a final score of 10-2.

Detroit scored early and often on the evening, getting two runs in the second on a two-run homer by Jhonny Peralta, and two more in the top of the third on a single by Victor Martinez. They added another run in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk to Scott Sizemore courtesy of Brian Duensing, and scored yet another in the top of the fifth thanks to a double by Martinez.

Rene Tosoni got the Twins on the board in the bottom of the fifth when he led off the inning with a solo home run to right-center, his first in the Major Leagues, to cut the deficit to 6-1. The Tigers continued to add runs, however, as Brandon Boesch had a two-RBI single in the top of the seventh to make the score 8-1. Although Luke Hughes drove Tosoni home with a double in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 8-2, Detroit got two more in the top of the eight. Martinez drove home his fourth run of the evening with a groundout, and Casper Wells came home on what was scored as a passed ball by Drew Butera to finish the night's scoring.

The most interesting thing that happened during the evening was a rain delay in the bottom of the fourth inning. Actually, it wasn't rain so much as it was golf ball-sized hail that sent many people scurrying for cover. Not surprisingly, when the teams came back on the field after a delay that lasted a little more than an hour, the crowd was noticeably smaller than it was when things got started.

Liriano took the loss for the Twins, allowing four runs on three hits in his three innings of work, walking three and striking out one. His record on the year falls to 2-5, and his ERA is now 7.07. Rick Porcello got the win for the Tigers, and he now has a record of 3-2 on the season with a 3.67 ERA, having allowed one run on three hits in his five innings of work, with two walks and one strikeout.

The same two teams will get together tomorrow at Target Field for a businessman's special, with first pitch set to be thrown at 12:10 PM Central time. The Twins will go with right-hander Scott Baker (2-2, 2.97 ERA), while the Tigers will counter with southpaw Phil Coke (1-5, 4.75 ERA).

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