• Summary: In what was supposed to be a pitchers duel, the Twins' Joe Mauer broke the game open with his bat. Mauer's grand slam in the fifth inning gave the Twins a 6-0 lead from which they wouldn't look back. Justin Morneau chipped in with a 3-for-5, two-RBI night. Minnesota starter Johan Santana allowed a run on five hits and struck out six over six innings.
• On the other mound: For as well as Santana performed, Tigers starter Justin Verlander struggled. He walked five batters, four of which scored, in five innings. Verlander also gave up four hits and struck out five. It was his third loss in 12 decisions, two of which have come against the Twins.
• Figure this: Minnesota has won 12 of its last 18 games while Detroit has won eight of its last 11.
• Figure this II: Magglio Ordonez was 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. He's batting .429 (24-for-56) during the streak.
• Quotable: "I got ahead of him in the count, 3-1, so I wanted to see if he threw one over. He did -- 3-2, he threw it in the same spot. I was just trying to hit something hard to the outfield." -- Mauer, on his grand slam
-- ESPN.com news services
Twins 11, Tigers 1
DETROIT (AP) -- The anticipated matchup between a two-time Cy
Young Award winner and a former American League Rookie of the Year
never materialized. Joe Mauer hit his first career grand slam and Johan Santana
scattered five hits over six innings, outpitching Justin Verlander
and leading the Minnesota Twins past the Detroit Tigers 11-1 on
Friday night. Verlander (9-3) gave up two runs in the first inning and Mauer
broke the game open with his grand slam in the fifth. Verlander
walked five batters, four of which scored, in five innings. He gave
up four hits and struck out five. "I beat myself tonight," Verlander said. "I gave them too
many opportunities to score with the walks tonight." Santana (9-6) allowed one run, striking out six and walking one. "I tried to stay very aggressive," he said. "We were able to
score a couple of runs and I tried to protect the lead." Justin Morneau had three hits and drove in two runs for the
Twins, playing in his second game after missing almost a week
because of a bruised right lung. A leadoff single by Luis Castillo and Verlander's two walks
loaded the bases with none out in the first. Michael Cuddyer drove
in the first run with a fielder's choice grounder, and Morneau's
infield single brought in the second run. Detroit threatened in the first with one-out singles by Placido Polanco
and Gary Sheffield. But Magglio Ordonez was called out on strikes
as Polanco and Sheffield pulled off a double steal, and Santana got
out of the inning by retiring Carlos Guillen on a pop fly to right. "Santana was very good against a very good lineup over there,"
said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire. "He made pitches when he
had to." Mauer's grand slam came with one out in the fifth after
Verlander had walked the bases loaded. The left-handed batting
Mauer lined Verlander's 3-2 pitch to the opposite field and over
the fence for his fourth home run of the season. "I got ahead of him in the count, 3-1, so I wanted to see if he
threw one over. He did -- 3-2, he threw it in the same spot," Mauer
said. "I was just trying to hit something hard to the outfield." Detroit manager Jim Leyland knew that was the game. "When you go six down to a pitcher like Santana," he said,
"you are going to lose." After the first inning, Santana held the Tigers hitless until
Ivan Rodriguez's leadoff single in the fifth. He advanced to second
on a flyout, but Santana struck out Marcus Thames and Neifi Perez
to end the inning. Polanco put Detroit on the scoreboard with his second home run,
which came with one out in the sixth. He finished 3-for-4. Jason Kubel added an RBI double in the eighth, and the Twins
added four runs in the ninth on a wild pitch by Eulogio De La Cruz,
an error by Perez and RBI singles by Morneau and Torii Hunter.Notes Detroit 3B Brandon Inge was a late scratch because of a
lower back spasm. He was replaced in the lineup by Perez. ...
Manager Ron Gardenhire said Morneau would be the DH for the entire
three-game series. ... The Tigers reinstated RHP Zach Miner
(strained right elbow flexor) from the DL, and placed LHP Tim
Byrdak on the 15-day disabled list with left elbow tendinitis. ...
Tigers' hitting coach Lloyd McClendon was ejected by home plate
umpire Marty Foster in the first inning after he questioned a
called third strike to Ordonez. ... Ordonez was 1-for-4 to extend
his hitting streak to 15 games. He's batting .429 (24-for-56)
during the streak. ... Guillen's streak of 11 games with a RBI was
snapped. The franchise record is 12, shared by Mickey Cochrane
(1934) and Rudy York (1940). ... Minnesota's Jason Bartlett went
1-for-2 to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games