Series: Game 2 of 3

Detroit leads 2-0 (as of 7/29)

Game 1: Friday, July 28
in 10
Game 2: Saturday, July 29
Game 3: Sunday, July 30

Tigers 8

(70-33, 37-16 away)

Twins 6

(59-43, 37-13 home)

7:10 PM ET, July 29, 2006

Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

123456789 R H E
DET 211200011 8 14 0
MIN 000200301 6 14 0

W: N. Robertson (10-6)

L: B. Radke (9-8)

S: T. Jones (29)

Robertson (10-6), Tigers beat Twins for 70th victory

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers are cooling off baseball's hottest team.

Curtis Granderson homered and drove in three runs, Nate Robertson became Detroit's fourth 10-game winner, and the Tigers held on to beat the Minnesota Twins 8-6 on Saturday night.

Brandon Inge and Craig Monroe each had three hits for the Tigers, who have baseball's best road record and have beaten Minnesota, with baseball's best home mark, twice in a row and in nine of 11 meetings this year.

Elias Says
The Tigers won their 70th game of the season, the first major league team to reach that plateau in 2006. It's the third time in team history that the Tigers got to 70 wins before any other major league team. They also did it in 1915 and 1984.

• For more Elias Says, click here

Minnesota is 34-10 in its last 44 games; Detroit 33-11.

"They're playing good baseball, but we're so confident that we can continue to grind this thing out, play nine innings and that we're going to be able to win games," Monroe said. "We're taking every team like they're the best team in the league and we've got to go out and keep playing."

After winning just 71 games last season, Detroit became the first team in the majors with 70 victories this year. The Tigers are 8½ games ahead of Chicago and 10½ in front of the Twins in the AL Central.

"It's obviously an impressive number, but there's a lot of games left and we just need to keep playing," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.

Minnesota, which had the potential winning run at the plate in the ninth after trailing 6-0, is two games behind the White Sox and 1½ games behind New York in the wild-card race.

"We're not dead in the water, we're right where we want to be: in a pennant race and playing the best team in the game right now and we're right there with them. A couple big hits go our way and we got 'em," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Robertson (10-6) allowed five runs and nine hits in six-plus innings, striking out four. He joined Justin Verlander (13-4), Jeremy Bonderman (11-4) and Kenny Rogers (11-4) with double-digit victories.

"A lot of us got off to a very, very good start and it's all about consistency," Robertson said. "You win games with pitching. Fortunately our offense has been very, very good the last couple of weeks."

Todd Jones allowed a run in the ninth but struck out Michael Cuddyer with runners at the corners to record his 29th save in 32 opportunities.

"Gardy's not going to let these two wins waver their ship in any way," Jones said.

Brad Radke (9-8) took the loss for Minnesota, which has lost two straight at home for the first time since May 14-15 against the White Sox.

Justin Morneau and Josh Rabe each hit two-run homers for Minnesota. Jason Tyner and Rondell White each has three hits.

Radke, who was 5-0 in his previous nine starts, allowed four runs and seven hits in three innings, his shortest outing since allowing six earned runs in 2 1-3 innings April 28 at Detroit. In three starts against the Tigers this year, Radke is 0-3 with a 10.32 ERA, allowing 13 runs in 11 1-3 innings.

"It was one of those bad days with his shoulder where it wouldn't come out," Gardenhire said. "He just couldn't get going. He's going to have those every once in a while." Radke had a cortisone shot in his right shoulder during the All-Star break.

Singles by Granderson, Placido Polanco and Monroe loaded the bases with nobody out in the first. Radke induced broken-bat grounders by Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen, but a run scored on each because neither could be turned into a double play. On the latter, Radke was slowed getting to first base because he had to avoid the barrel of the bat hurtling toward him.

Opponents are hitting .390 off Radke in the first inning this season.

Inge started the second with a double when Jason Tyner lost a short fly ball in the ceiling. Two batters later, he scored on sacrifice fly by Granderson.

A sacrifice fly by Dmitri Young in the third inning gave Detroit a 4-0 lead.

Granderson hit a two-run homer off Kyle Lohse in the fourth, just off the outstretched glove of Tyner in straightaway center.

"Any time you can get a lead it's good, but we definitely can't get comfortable because they can hit the baseball around," said Granderson. "We just had to keep trying to cushion it up the best we can."

Morneau's two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, his 28th, got Minnesota within 6-2.

After Rabe hit a two-run shot in the seventh, the first of his career, Tyner singled and advanced to third on two wild pitches by Joel Zumaya before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Luis Castillo.

"All year long we've been battling. At home, if we're down a few we never think we're out of it," said Nick Punto, who went 0-for-5 to end his 19-game hitting streak.

Young hit a solo home run in the eighth for Detroit.

Game notes

Detroit is 49-11 when scoring first. ... The Tigers recalled outfielder Brent Clevlen from Double-A Erie on Saturday and returned pitcher Colby Lewis to Triple-A Toledo. ... Minnesota has committed just one error in its last 10 games. ... The crowd of 45,496 was the second straight regular season crowd more than 45,000. That last happened in Minnesota Aug. 22-23, 1992. ... Zumaya had thrown two wild pitches in his previous 50 2-3 innings.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press