MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins finally beat one of the
top three teams in their division on their 11th try. Before they
can count as a contender themselves, they have a lot of catching up
Luis Castillo slapped a single past a drawn-in Detroit infield
with one out in the ninth inning, lifting the Twins to a 7-6
victory over the Tigers on Saturday.
"It feels good to finally beat that team over there," said
Shannon Stewart, whose RBI triple tied the game against closer Todd
Jones (0-1). "They've been giving it to us pretty good."
Have they ever.
Magglio Ordonez homered for the second straight night and Curtis
Granderson hit a two-run drive for Detroit, which outscored
Minnesota 42-7 while hitting 10 homers and winning their first four
"This is one of those gut checks," said Detroit manager Jim
Leyland, who called his team's 9-6 victory on Friday its best of
the season. "We'll find out how we respond."
Torii Hunter went 3-for-4 with two RBI for Minnesota, which hit
into three double plays and is now 1-10 against the White Sox,
Tigers and Indians while falling nine games back. Juan Rincon (2-0)
picked up the victory with a scoreless ninth after struggling
right-hander Jesse Crain struck out the side in the eighth.
"That's a huge win," Crain said. "Hopefully that'll turn some
stuff around here."
Carlos Guillen had two hits and an RBI for Detroit, and the
first five hitters in the lineup drove in all six runs. Dmitri
Young, activated from the disabled list the day before, led off the
seventh with a double in a two-run, tiebreaking inning against
reliever Francisco Liriano.
With two out, Brandon Inge singled to drive in Young. Then Ivan
Rodriguez hit a line drive to left-center that fell in front of
Stewart -- whose throw sailed over the cutoff man to a vacant second
base where Rodriguez pulled in for a double while Inge scored for a
Joel Zumaya came in to strike out Hunter to end the inning on a
fastball that read 98 mph on the stadium radar gun, and Hunter
winced and cursed as he headed back to the dugout. Hunter, however,
led the pack of Twins who surrounded Castillo two innings later for
"I'm just glad it happened to me, to be honest with you,"
Jones said, "'cause I know how to handle it. I can bounce back.
It's not like I've never blown a save before. This is where I've
got to rely on my experience. You've just got to pick up the
pieces, play 'Humpty Dumpty' and see you tomorrow."
Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman gave up a season-high 10 hits
and also allowed three walks and five runs in 6 2-3 innings while
striking out three. Minnesota frequently bailed him out of further
damage by hitting into all those double plays.
In the first, Tony Batista stranded two runners with a groundout
after Hunter's two-run double. Michael Cuddyer's double put the
Twins up 3-1 in the third, but Batista bounced into a bases-loaded
double play to end that inning.
Guillen's chopper down the third-base line skipped away from
Batista and into the bullpen for an RBI double that cut the
Minnesota lead to 2-1 in the second.
Ordonez led off the fourth with his eighth homer to again pull
the Tigers within one. After hitting at least 29 home runs each
season with the Chicago White Sox from 1999-2003, Ordonez stumbled
through the next two years while fighting knee and hernia problems
-- going deep a total of only 17 times in 507 at-bats over the 2004
and 2005 seasons. But he's worked his way back into form, batting
fourth in a lineup that leads the majors with 49 homers.
"He's doing everything right now," Leyland said. "When they
make a tough pitch, he's getting a base hit. When they're making a
mistake, he's hitting a home run."
Granderson tied the game at 4 with his homer in the fifth,
sticking Scott Baker with a no-decision. Baker allowed seven hits
in six innings while striking out five without a walk.
"We've had some bad luck, and we've had some very bad baseball
games under our belt," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But we're
not going to quit."
Chris Shelton went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and is
3-for-20 against the Twins. Shelton is also in a 3-for-25 slump
overall. ... Cuddyer has hit in seven straight games, going
11-for-28 with five doubles, one homer and three RBI.