Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 6/5)

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

Tigers 6

(25-30, 13-14 away)

Twins 0

(29-26, 16-12 home)

    1:15 PM ET, June 5, 2004

    Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 011002020 6 12 1
    MIN 000000000 0 3 0

    W: G. Knotts (3-1)

    L: S. Greisinger (2-5)

    Reliever-turned-starter three-hits Twins

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Gary Knotts tied the Twins up for nearly eight innings to secure the victory -- and his spot in Detroit's starting rotation.

    Knotts pitched three-hit ball into the eighth and Craig Monroe drove in four runs, leading the Tigers over Minnesota 6-0 Saturday.

    "I'm just going out there and pitching like every start is my last," Knotts said after his longest outing of the season. "When I got switched from the bullpen, I just said to myself, 'one start at a time.' "

    Knotts (3-1) made nine relief appearances before making the first of his five starts on May 14. Since then, he is 3-1 with a 2.89 ERA and doesn't look as though he'll be back in the bullpen anytime soon.

    "He's one of the starters, and he's earned that," manager Alan Trammell said. "I'm happy for him, and we can build on this."

    Ivan Rodriguez went 4-for-5 with four singles, and Carlos Guillen and Carlos Pena each homered for Detroit, which snapped a two-game losing skid. Steve Colyer and Ugueth Urbina finished the three-hitter, the Tigers' fourth shutout of the season.

    Matthew LeCroy had two of the three hits for the Twins, who have lost 11 of their last 16 games. It was the third time Minnesota has been shut out.

    "Last night was a big win, and I thought we might turn it around [today] but [Knotts] pitched a pretty good game," LeCroy said.

    "We'd been winning with injuries, and all of a sudden we've hit a brick wall," Jacque Jones added.

    Knotts held Minnesota hitless until Lew Ford doubled with one out in the third inning. But, Ford was stranded at third.

    Knotts struck out two and walked four in 7 2/3 innings; Colyer got one out in the eighth; and Urbina pitched the ninth.

    "We're just not clicking on the ball consistently," manager Ron Gardenhire said after his team stranded seven runners. "It's a matter of breaking out of this little funk."

    Seth Greisinger (2-5), making his first start against his former team, allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one.

    Pena hit a 424-foot solo home run off Greisinger with two outs in the second inning to give the Tigers the early lead. It was Pena's ninth homer of the season.

    Guillen hit a solo shot in the third, also with two outs, for his eighth homer. The Tigers tried to add to the lead in the inning, but Rodriguez was thrown out at home by left-fielder Ford trying to score from second on a single.

    Detroit scored twice in the sixth to extend its lead to 4-0. Guillen led off with a double and moved to third on Rodriguez's third single of the game. After a fielder's choice and walk loaded the bases, Monroe hit a two-RBI single off Greisinger.

    Monroe added a two-run single off Joe Roa in the eighth to make it 6-0.

    "Both of those hits were big for me, I'll be honest," Monroe said. "I really needed to buckle down. Today was a great day for us to build off of."

    Game notes

    The Twins have scored only seven runs in their last four games and have only 20 hits in that span. ... Greisinger was a first-round draft pick of the Tigers in 1996. ... LeCroy, the slowest runner on the Twins, had his third infield hit in three days. ... Twins starters have only four wins in their last 18 starts. ... The Tigers have at least one extra-base hit in each of the last 22 games. ... Rodriguez is hitting .560 (14-for-25) during a current six-game hitting streak. He also had four hits against the Twins earlier this season at the Metrodome.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press