MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers are cooling off baseball's
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.
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 8˝ games ahead of Chicago and 10˝ in front of the Twins in the
"It's obviously an impressive number, but there's a lot of
games left and we just need to keep playing," Detroit manager Jim
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
1˝ 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
"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
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
"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
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
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
Morneau's two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, his 28th,
got Minnesota within 6-2.
"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.
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.