Series: Game 1 of 3

Minnesota leads 1-0 (as of 6/4)

Game 1: Friday, June 4
Game 2: Saturday, June 5
Game 3: Sunday, June 6

Tigers 2

(24-30, 12-14 away)

Twins 3

(29-25, 16-11 home)

    8:10 PM ET, June 4, 2004

    Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 000110000 2 7 0
    MIN 000101001 3 7 0

    W: J. Nathan (1-0)

    L: J. Walker (0-2)

    Twins win fourth of last 12

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota's latest win left manager Ron Gardenhire giddy enough to play a practical joke.

    After Torii Hunter's solo homer in the ninth inning gave the Twins a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night, Gardenhire had pitcher Carlos Silva greet reporters in the manager's office.

    Silva answered a few questions, one in Spanish, before Gardenhire walked in. The manager later explained that Silva sat in his seat in the dugout for all three of the Twins' runs, so he deserved the seat after the game.

    As Gardenhire finally replaced Silva behind the manager's desk, the pitcher joked, "I was the winning manager and now you want me to get out."

    Hunter hit a 2-2 pitch from reliever Jamie Walker (0-2) over the left-center fence for his eighth homer of the season, giving the Twins just their fourth victory in 12 games.

    Corey Koskie also connected for the Twins, and Hunter added an RBI single after going just 3-for-15 as the Twins lost three of four at home to Tampa Bay in their previous series.

    "I had two strikes on me so I was just trying to make contact," Hunter said, referring to his homer. "Sometimes that's how it happens. Don't think, just hit."

    Joe Nathan (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win. The Twins' closer hasn't had a save chance since May 26, but he's been scored upon in only one of his 24 appearances -- giving up three runs against Cleveland on April 14.

    Twins relievers J.C. Romero, Juan Rincon and Nathan combined for three scoreless innings, striking out six.

    Carlos Guillen homered for Detroit, which has lost eight of 11.

    The Tigers had manager Alan Trammell back in the dugout after he missed three games with a virus. Trammell sat quietly at the end of the bench most of the night.

    "I'm fine," he said. "I felt like I hadn't missed a beat. Not quite the energy I usually have, but I was into it. It felt good to be back."

    Detroit starter Mike Maroth gave up just five hits and two runs in seven innings, striking out five. He's winless in his last four starts.

    "I'm waiting for a winning streak, something to get us going," Maroth said. "We don't really have momentum."

    The Twins tied the game twice after falling behind by a run, scoring in the fourth inning when Hunter singled in Matthew LeCroy and again in the sixth when Koskie hit his 10th homer of the year.

    It was Koskie's fourth home run in four games. The third baseman also made the defensive play of the game, a diving catch of Rondell White's soft liner near the foul line leading off the eighth.

    "He was our MVP tonight," Hunter said.

    Twins starter Kyle Lohse gave up six hits and two runs in six innings, tying his season high with five strikeouts.

    Lohse gave up only Carlos Pena's RBI single in the fourth and Guillen's homer in the fifth.

    Game notes

    Twins 1B Doug Mientkiewicz had an MRI after waking up with pain in his chronically injured left wrist. No structural damage was found, and Mientkiewicz entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning. Mientkiewicz aggravated the wrist Tuesday. ... Detroit's Alex Sanchez struck out swinging in the first inning and his bat went flying, forcing on-deck hitter Guillen to jump out of the way. ... The Twins are batting just .117 (35-for-298) during the first five games of their 13-game homestand.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press