If the Minnesota Twins are going to come all the way back in the American League Central this season, it would be helpful for them to defeat the Detroit Tigers at least once. They were unable to accomplish that feat on Friday night at Target Field, falling to the Tigers by a final score of 8-2.
The loss is the seventh straight by the Twins to the Tigers this season, and the eleventh straight time the Twins have gone down against Detroit dating back to last season. Beacuse of the loss, the Twins once again fall to seven games below .500 and seven games back in the American League Central standings.
The Tigers got off to a quick start against Twins starter Brian Duensing (7-8, 4.53 ERA), as Ryan Raburn took homered to left with one out in the top of the first, a solo home run that put the Tigers up 1-0. The long ball also haunted Duensing in the top of the second inning, as Jhonny Peralta hit a solo home run of his own to increase Detroit's lead to 2-0.
The Twins got one back in the bottom of the second, as Danny Valencia's RBI groundout scored Michael Cuddyer to cut the Detroit lead in half at 2-1. Unfortunately, the Tigers didn't take long to respond, as they loaded the bases with two out, and Peralta came through again, this time with a single to center field to score two runs and increase the Detroit lead to 4-1.
The Tigers finally chased Duensing in the top of the fifth, when Peralta again came through with two outs by smashing a double to left field to score Magglio Ordonez and give the Tigers a 5-1 lead. Alex Burnett came in to relieve Duensing, and gave up a two-run single to Carlos Guillen to make the score 7-1. All of the runs were charged to Duensing, who finished the game allowing seven runs (all earned) on nine hits in just 4.2 innings of work. Detroit managed one more run in the top of the sixth, thanks to an RBI single by Victor Martinez that made the score 8-1.
On the Detroit side, meanwhile, Max Scherzer (11-5, 4.35 ERA) was cruising, allowing only one run on four hits in seven innings of work. Minnesota managed to scratch out a run against Detroit reliever Lester Oliveros in the bottom of the ninth, thanks to a Jim Thome RBI single, but it wasn't enough as the Twins wound up falling by a score of 8-2.
The Twins and Tigers will play an afternoon game on Saturday to continue this series, with first pitch scheduled for 3:10 PM Central time from Target Field. The starting pitchers will be right-hander Scott Baker (7-5, 3.01 ERA), returning from the disabled list, for Minnesota, and right-hander Brad Penny (7-6, 4.47 ERA) for Detroit.