DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers were determined to win a one-run game. They just didn't expect it to take so long.
The Tigers' struggling bullpen blew a pair of one-run leads before Ivan Rodriguez homered leading off the 10th inning to give Detroit a 5-4 victory Friday night over the Minnesota Twins."That's a really good win for us," manager Alan Trammell said. "It didn't come easy, but it never does against Minnesota."Rodriguez lined a 2-1 pitch from Terry Mulholland (0-1) into the right-center stands to end Detroit's three-game losing skid and give the Tigers their first win in six one-run games this year."I've been in baseball for 15 years, but I can still enjoy things like this," Rodriguez said. "It was big for me and big for the team."Mulholland, who almost lost the game in the eighth, said he missed with a cut fastball."It was supposed to be inside, but it never got there," he said. "I just didn't locate that one very well."Troy Percival (1-1) got the win with two innings of relief despite blowing a save in the ninth when Justin Morneau homered to tie it. The Tigers are 0-for-6 in save situations this year."I'm glad they gave me another inning to try to win it for us," Percival said. "I made a terrible pitch to a good hitter, and he buried it, but my teammates deserved this win."Detroit left fielder Craig Monroe made a diving catch to rob Lew Ford of extra bases, ending the ninth.With the score tied at 3, Brandon Inge led off the Tigers' eighth with a bloop single off Mulholland.Rodriguez sacrificed Inge to second, and Carlos Guillen lined a sharp single to left. Shannon Stewart appeared to have plenty of time to throw out Inge at the plate, but his throw was up the first base line and Inge just evaded Joe Mauer's diving tag for a 4-3 lead.Inge was shocked that Tigers third base coach Juan Samuel waved him in."I was running hard, but I kept expecting him to stop me," he said. "When I realized he wasn't going to do it, I was expecting a collision at the plate, but then he kept going farther and farther up the line, so I knew I better slide. I just got my toe in."Mulholland struck out Carlos Pena with the bases loaded, and Morneau tied the game again with a long homer leading off the ninth against Percival. Morneau came off the disabled list before the game. He had been sidelined since April 6 with a concussion after being hit in the head by a pitch.Neither starter was involved in the decision. Detroit's Mike Maroth allowed two runs in six innings, while Carlos Silva gave up three runs -- two earned -- in seven innings in his first start since April 6."Silva threw well," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's good to have him back in the rotation."Detroit's first run came with some unexpected help.Inge led off the first with a routine fly ball, but the ball glanced off the end of Gold Glove center fielder Torii Hunter's
glove for a three-base error."I just muffed it," Hunter said. "After 20 years of playing ball -- Little League, Babe Ruth, the minors and the majors -- I've never done that before. Boy, that's a humbling experience."Rodriguez, batting second for the first time this season, followed with a groundout to shortstop, but it was enough to score Inge.The Tigers made it 3-0 in the third. Omar Infante singled and went to third when Nook Logan sliced a double into the right-center gap. Inge blooped an RBI single to left, and Logan scored when Rodriguez hit into a double play.Minnesota pulled to 3-2 in the fourth.Mauer led off with a single and went to third on Morneau's double. Hunter followed with a sacrifice fly and Jacque Jones made it a one-run game with an RBI infield single.With a light rain falling, the Twins tied it in the seventh on Ford's RBI single off Kyle Farnsworth.
Rodriguez batted third in his first 14 starts, with Guillen usually hitting second. But Guillen batted third on Friday. ... Silva (knee) was also activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game.