MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Terry Tiffee's jump from the minor leagues to
the Twins' cleanup spot couldn't have gone any smoother.
Tiffee had a two-run homer and a career-high three RBI in his
first game of the season to lead Minnesota to an 8-4 victory over
the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.
"That's the last place I thought I'd be," Tiffee said of
batting fourth in the lineup. "But, I don't care where I hit I
just want to play."
Jacque Jones also hit a two-run homer for Minnesota, which has
won three straight games. Tiffee, called up from Triple-A Rochester
on Tuesday to fill the injured Justin Morneau's roster spot, went
2-for-4 with two runs scored.
"It's never easy to come up and play well, but it's easier
having done it last year because you know the guys and you know
what to expect," said Tiffee, who had a game-winning two-run
double in his major-league debut last year.
"It's good to see guys come up here ready to play," manager
Ron Gardenhire said. "That's what this organization is all about.
That's what we've bragged about for a long time."
Kyle Lohse (1-1) allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3
innings, while striking out six and walking one.
Brandon Inge hit a solo homer for the Tigers, losers of three
"That makes it tough," Manager Alan Trammell said of his
starter's troubles. "You can look at it, but the percentages say
that if you have to take your starter out in the first inning,
there's a good chance you're going to lose."
Inge hit his second homer of the season with one out in the
first to give Detroit a 1-0 lead, but Minnesota came back with five
runs in the bottom of the inning. It was the first time Minnesota
has scored in the first inning this season.
"(Bench coach) Steve Liddle told the bat guy to get us some
first-inning bats," Jones joked. "I guess he got us some today."
Jason Bartlett and Joe Mauer hit consecutive infield singles
before Tiffee drove in a run with a single. Torii Hunter followed
with a two-run single off Johnson and Jones hit his second homer of
the season to make it 5-1.
"I didn't feel out of sync at all," Johnson said. "Your
explanation is as good as mine."
Johnson's shortest outing prior to this was 1 1/3 innings.
"I've seen Nolan Ryan get knocked out in the first inning after
warming up like he was going to throw a no-hitter," said Detroit
pitching coach Bob Cluck. "It happens."
Carlos Pena had an RBI single in the second to make it 5-2.
Stewart led off the fourth with a double and scored two outs
later on Tiffee's two-run shot off Ginter to make it 7-2.
Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez was sent back to Detroit on
Wednesday morning due to recurring symptoms from a viral infection
that has forced him to miss five games. He will undergo tests
Twins pitchers combined to strike out 12 batters. ... Over
the past five seasons, Minnesota is 58-19 against the Tigers. ...
Lohse improved to 6-1 in 12 career games against Detroit. ...
Stewart has a hit in all eight games this season. ... Johnson won
his first start of the year, against Kansas City on April 7 when he
allowed five hits in 6 2/3 scoreless innings.