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Twins Disappear After Big First Inning In Loss To Tigers

When a team scores four runs in its first trip to the plate in a baseball game, it's generally a pretty good sign. When you're the 2011 Minnesota Twins and your offense is capable of disappearing in the blink of an eye, that's not always the case.

After a four-run first, the Twins managed just two hits in the remaining eight innings, and the Minnesota pitching staff imploded once again as they fell to the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers by a final score of 8-4 at Comerica Field on Friday night.

The Twins got their four first inning runs on a Jason Kubel single that scored Trevor Plouffe, a Danny Valencia triple that scored Joe Mauer and Kubel, and a Chris Parmelee single to score Valencia and put them ahead 4-0. But Kevin Slowey, who really has been awful since coming back to the big league club, couldn't make it stand up.

In the bottom of the second, Slowey started the inning by allowing back-to-back singles to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez before serving up a three-run blast to Alex Avila to cut the Minnesota lead to 4-3. He started the fourth inning by hitting Avila with a pitch and, after retiring Jhonny Peralta, gave up a triple to Wilson Betemit to tie the score at four. Ramon Santiago then tagged Slowey for another home run, a two-run shot to right to put Detroit ahead 6-4.

Slowey was pulled after four innings of work, and former Twin Delmon Young. . .who continues to look like a totally different player in a Detroit uniform. . .greeted Kyle Waldrop with a solo home run to left field to make the score 7-4 in favor of the Tigers. A Brandon Inge sacrifice fly off of Jose Mijares in the bottom of the eighth provided the last of the scoring, giving the Tigers an 8-4 lead.

After their big first inning, the Twins managed only two more hits the rest of the way. . .a Ben Revere single to left in the top of the second, and a bunt single by Tsuyoshi Nishioka in the top of the seventh.

Slowey dropped to 0-5 after the loss, and his ERA went up to 6.07. Detroit starter Brad Penny picked up the win for his team, evening his record on the year at 10 wins and 10 losses.

The second game of the three game series will take place on Saturday night at Comerica Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 3:10 PM Central time. The Twins will send right-hander Anthony Swarzak (3-6, 3.95 ERA) to the hill, while the Tigers will counter with right-hander Max Scherzer (14-8, 4.33 ERA).

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.