Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 4/10)

Game 1: Thursday, April 8
Minnesota6Final
Detroit10
Game 2: Saturday, April 10
Minnesota10Final
Detroit5
Game 3: Sunday, April 11
Minnesota5Final
in 10
Detroit6

Twins 10

(3-2, 1-1 away)

Tigers 5

(4-1, 1-1 home)

1:05 PM ET, April 10, 2004

Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

123456789 R H E
MIN 024020002 10 15 0
DET 002300000 5 9 1

W: B. Radke (1-0)

L: J. Johnson (1-1)

Third-string catcher Blanco hits two

DETROIT (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins have played enough games at Comerica Park to know just how tough it is to hit home runs there.

So even they were surprised when they set a stadium record with six homers, including two by light-hitting catcher Henry Blanco, while handing the Detroit Tigers their first loss of the season, 10-5 Saturday.

"The ball was really jumping out there today," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They've made some adjustments to this park, and the ball carries better than it used to, but days like this are still pretty unusual. Those weren't cheapies we were hitting, either."

Luis Rivas, Corey Koskie, Jose Offerman and Lew Ford also connected for the Twins, giving starter Brad Radke plenty of support.

"I don't know what was going on out there," said Ford, called up from the minors Friday to replace injured center fielder Torii Hunter. "My head is still kind of spinning, but that was fun."

The Tigers, who opened last season 0-9 and lost an AL-record 119 games, had been the last unbeaten team in the majors at 4-0.

Blanco, who entered 2004 with a .219 career batting average and 27 homers in six major league seasons, homered in the second and ninth for his first two hits of the year.

"The ball was flying pretty good today," said Blanco, who also hit two homers on July 22, 1999, for Colorado at Los Angeles. "I hit a couple flyballs and they went out."

The defensive specialist is playing every day only because rookie starter Joe Mauer and regular backup Matthew LeCroy are injured.

It was the first time the Twins have hit six homers in a game since they had seven on July 12, 2001, at Milwaukee.

The previous record for home runs in a game at spacious Comerica Park was five, set by Boston on April 19, 2000, the year the park opened.

The Tigers were missing manager Alan Trammell, who was serving a one-game suspension for beanballs during a spring training game against Philadelphia on March 29. Bench coach Kirk Gibson ran the team in his place.

"We gave up 10 runs, so we obviously didn't pitch well," said Trammell, who watched the game from team president Dave Dombrowski's box. "We were swinging the bat well enough to have some opportunities, though."

Radke (1-0) improved his career record against Detroit to 16-4, allowing five runs on nine hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out six. Five Twins relievers combined for four scoreless innings to finish it.

Jason Johnson (1-1) lost to the Twins for the first time in six career decisions, lasting just 2 1-3 innings. He gave up six runs on seven hits, including three homers.

"You can't be undefeated against a team forever," he said. "I just could not get the ball down -- everything was high in the zone. I just have to put this behind me and try to get them the next time."

Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in the second when Ford singled and scored on Blanco's two-out homer, then added four more runs on two-run homers by Rivas and Koskie in the third.

Craig Monroe made it 6-1 with a solo homer in the bottom of the third, and Fernando Vina's two-out single scored Alex Sanchez later in the inning.

Two defensive mistakes by Twins right fielder Jacque Jones helped Detroit pull to 6-5 in the fourth. He lost Carlos Pena's flyball that turned into a triple, and after singles by Bobby Higginson and Monroe, Eric Munson hit a two-run double over Jones' glove.

"I thought I threw the ball pretty well," Radke said. "Jacque and I talked about it, and I told him to turn the page. It's a long season, and things like that are going to happen."

Offerman and Ford hit solo homers to make it 8-5 in the fifth, and Higginson lined out with the bases loaded to end the bottom of the inning.

Blanco hit his second homer in the ninth, and Shannon Stewart added an RBI single.

Game notes


Tigers pitcher Nate Cornejo was suspended for five games for the same beanball trouble as Trammell. Cornejo's next start will be moved back to next Friday in Cleveland, while Nate Robertson will start Wednesday's home game against the Blue Jays. ... Ford started in center field and hit seventh. He had three hits. ... Home runs by Blanco, Rivas and Monroe all cleared the shorter fence in left field but fell short of the original fence -- the first time since the new fence was put up before last season that there have been three such homers in a game.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES