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Twins' losing streak a season-high four games

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Nothing is going right for the Minnesota
Twins right now. That's a bad time to be playing a team that can do
no wrong.

Nate Robertson threw Detroit's second straight complete game and
Omar Infante had a home run and three RBI to lead the surging
Tigers to an 8-1 victory over the slumping Twins on Wednesday
night.

"Everything is working right now," said first baseman Dmitri
Young, who left the game in the second inning with an injured right
index finger. "That's all you can ask for."

The Tigers roughed up Twins starter Joe Mays (3-3), getting six
runs and eight hits in just four innings, snapping Mays' eight-game
winning streak against Detroit and extending the Twins' losing
streak to a season-high four games.

"Tonight was an ugly night," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire
said. "We didn't get it done anywhere."

Robertson (3-5) scattered five hits and struck out six to win
for the first time in five starts. The Tigers, who have been
energized since acquiring infielder Placido Polanco in a trade with
Philadelphia, have won four in a row and seven of eight, including
Jeremy Bonderman's complete-game win over the Twins on Tuesday
night.

"This is by far the best run of the year," Tigers manager Alan
Trammell said. "I'm enjoying watching these guys play."

Mays had not lost to the Tigers since Sept. 29, 2000, and even
that performance was a gem. He gave up just one run in eight
innings of a 1-0 loss.

But he was dreadful on Wednesday night. He gave up five earned
runs, walked three, had a wild pitch that led to a run and
basically got beat up by a team that entered the night ranked 11th
in the American League in hits and runs scored.

It was one of those days for the Twins, or more accurately,
"It's been one of those weeks," Mays said. "We haven't been able
to shake the shanks we've got right now."

Mays failed to reach the fifth inning for the second straight
start. He gave up six runs and 10 hits in four innings of a
no-decision against the Giants last week.

He's not the only starter struggling for the Twins, who have not
had a starting pitcher record a victory in nine games. Twins'
starters are 0-6 with a 6.10 ERA during that span.

Detroit broke the game open with a three-run fourth that began
with a solo homer by Infante.

Brandon Inge added an RBI double and scored on an error by third
baseman Michael Cuddyer for a 6-1 lead.

That was more than enough for Robertson against the Twins'
anemic offense. Minnesota has scored just 12 runs in their last
five games, an average of 2.4 per game.

The crowd voiced its displeasure several times, booing the Twins
at bat, on the mound and in the field.

"We're probably as frustrated as they are right now," Mays
said. "If we had the option, we'd boo ourselves too."

Robertson was only too happy to take advantage of the
hibernating Twins' hitters after going 0-2 with 17 runs allowed in
his previous four starts. It was his second career complete game,
with the other coming last August against Kansas City.

"Offensively, they haven't been scoring," Trammell said.
"Maybe we're catching them at a good time, but that's part of the
game and that can change anytime."

After giving up an RBI single to Lew Ford in the first --
unearned because Young committed an error in the inning -- Robertson
allowed just three hits and no runners past second base the rest of
the game.

With no production at the plate, and not much more from their
starting pitching, the three-time defending AL Central champions
have fallen 10 games behind the Chicago White Sox in the division.

"Baseball is not on our side right now," Twins shortstop Juan
Castro said. "Sometimes you just get in bad days like that."

Game notes
Twins pitchers combined to walk a season-high nine. ...
X-rays on Young's finger were negative and he is listed as
day-to-day. Jason Smith replaced him at first base, playing the
position for the first time this season. ... Tigers CF Nook Logan's
fourth-inning single broke an 0-for-17 slump. ... The Twins haven't
trailed by 10 games in the AL Central since they finished the 2000
season in fifth place, 26 games behind the White Sox. ... Castro
went 0-for-3 on Wednesday and is currently in an 0-for-23 slump.