Series: Game 1 of 3

Minnesota leads 1-0 (as of 8/15)

Game 1: Monday, August 15
Game 2: Tuesday, August 16
Game 3: Wednesday, August 17

Twins 9

(53-67, 26-37 away)

Tigers 6

(64-57, 33-26 home)

    7:05 PM ET, August 15, 2011

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

    123456789 R H E
    MIN 003003300 9 11 1
    DET 102002100 6 11 2

    W: F. Liriano (8-9)

    L: R. Porcello (11-8)

    S: J. Nathan (10)

    Twins slugger Jim Thome clubs 600th career homer in win vs. Tigers

    Associated Press

    DETROIT -- When Jim Thome arrived at the ballpark, his pursuit of 600 home runs had been all but forgotten.

    Minnesota had just traded Delmon Young to the Detroit Tigers -- the very team Thome's Twins were about to face. And besides, Thome was in the middle of a slow, injury-plagued chase for the milestone.

    Then, in two innings, the 40-year-old slugger reminded everyone why he's become one of baseball's greatest power hitters.

    Thome hit his 600th home run an inning after he hit No. 599 to help the Twins outslug the Tigers 9-6 on Monday night. Thome became the eighth major league player to reach 600, hitting a three-run shot off Daniel Schlereth in the seventh inning.

    "Hitting home runs can be very difficult," Thome said. "You sit in bed at night and you think about how's it going to be, how are you going to do this? It goes back to trying to slow yourself down and not being too antsy, too hyped up. It's just a great night."

    An inning earlier, Thome reached 599 with a two-run homer off Rick Porcello (11-8) that broke a 3-all tie.

    Thome received a standing ovation from the Detroit crowd as he rounded the bases after his milestone homer. His achievement overshadowed a solo shot in the first inning by Young, who had been traded from the Twins to the Tigers earlier Monday.

    "It felt good to be on board, especially against the old team," Young said. "Especially in a pennant race, you just want to score as many runs as possible. Just wanted to hurry up and get it out of the way, but I wanted to get a win."

    Francisco Liriano (8-9) allowed five runs in six innings. Joe Nathan earned his 10th save.

    Both of Thome's homers were hit to the opposite field. When No. 600 cleared the fence in left, Thome raised his right fist as he went around first base.

    The Tigers posted a congratulatory message on the scoreboard, and the Twins came out of the dugout to greet him at home plate.

    Before Monday's game, Thome hadn't homered since Aug. 4.

    "When I got the first one tonight, though, I knew it was going to come quick," he said.

    Thome's accomplishment capped a memorable day for these AL Central rivals. During the afternoon, the Twins traded Young to the Tigers for a minor league pitcher and a player to be named.

    Young homered in his first at-bat for Detroit, and Alex Avila finished a homer shy of the cycle, but the Tigers couldn't overcome an uneven performance on the mound and in the field.

    They couldn't handle Thome, either. After Jason Kubel started the sixth with a single, Thome hit a drive off Porcello an estimated 412 feet over the fence in left-center.

    Ben Revere added an RBI triple later in the inning -- and was thrown out trying for an inside-the-park homer.

    Avila hit an RBI triple in the bottom half, then scored on a sacrifice fly, but Thome was just getting started.

    Schlereth walked two hitters and struck out two before Thome came to the plate. He took another big cut with his powerful left-handed swing and sent a towering fly to left.

    "He was always one of my favorite players growing up, so if I had to be on the losing end of it, going into the record books, there's not a better guy than Jim Thome," Schlereth said. "I'm proud of the guy he is and what he means to this game. You know, there hasn't been a whole lot of talk about his 600 home runs, but there should be more talk, because that guy has been -- he is -- an outstanding player, and great for a very long time."

    For a moment, it appeared Young might have a chance to make a play on the ball, but he could only watch as his former teammate's hit disappeared over the fence.

    "If he had jumped and gotten that over the wall, he and I might have met up behind the stands tonight," Thome joked.

    Game notes

    Minnesota's Denard Span, who has been recovering from a concussion, was scratched from the lineup. ... Young finished 2 for 4. ... Detroit ace Justin Verlander (17-5) takes the mound against Minnesota's Nick Blackburn (7-9) when the teams meet again Tuesday night.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumComerica Park, Detroit, MI
    Attendance36,211 (87.8% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:49
    Weather81 degrees, partly cloudy
    Wind9 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Bill Miller, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Tom Hallion

    Research Notes

    From Elias:
    Derek Jeter was the 28th player in major-league history with 3,000 hits while Jim Thome is the 8th with 600 home runs... The home run feat has been accomplished more as of late, but no active player within 25 percent of the mark while there are 12 that close to 3,000 hits.
    From Elias: Only Babe Ruth needed fewer AB than Jim Thome to reach 600 career HR.
    Jim Thome becomes the 8th member of the 600 HR club. When Babe Ruth became the 1st member, it took 13,911 days for a 2nd member to join him, and that was Willie Mays. Just 15,174 days later, Thome makes it 8:
    It was 1 year and 11 days ago that Alex Rodriguez became the 7th member of the 600-homer club, as he hit his 600th on August 4th last year. Thome becomes the 4th member of the club to hit his 600th in the month of August:
    From Elias: Delmon Young was traded from the Twins to the Tigers on Monday, and then hit a HR in his first plate appearance as a Tiger -- a plate appearance that came against the Twins. He becomes the 4th player in the last 50 years to switch teams midseason, then hit a HR in his first plate appearance for his new team and have that HR come against his old team:
    There are only 10 former No. 1 overall picks who are active (Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Pat Burrell, Josh Hamilton, Adrian Gonzalez, Joe Mauer, Delmon Young, Justin Upton, Luke Hochevar, David Price) but Delmon Young joins Adrian Gonzalez as the only active No. 1 overall picks who have been traded more than once: Young Aug. 15, 2011 Traded by Twins to Tigers Nov. 28, 2007 Traded by Rays to Twins Gonzalez Dec. 6, 2010 Traded by Padres to Red Sox Jan. 6, 2006 Traded by Rangers to Padres July 11, 2003 Traded by Marlins to Rangers

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