MINNESOTA 7, DETROIT 3 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Saturday, September 20.
Batting stars: Matthew LeCroy was 3-for-5 with a home run (his seventeenth), a double, and three RBIs. Dustan Mohr was 1-for-4 with a home run, his tenth. Doug Mientkiewicz was 1-for-3 with three walks and three runs.
Pitching stars: Grant Balfour struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up two hits. J. C. Romero pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits. Juan Rincon pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Craig Monroe was 3-for-4 with a home run (his twentieth), two doubles, and two RBIs. Brandon Inge was 2-for-3 with a walk. Dmitri Young was 2-for-4. Alex Sanchez was 2-for-5. No other Tiger had a hit.
The game: The Twins jumped out to an early lead. Shannon Stewart walked and Mientkiewicz doubled, putting men on second and third with one out. A strikeout followed, but then Corey Koskie hit a two-run single, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Torii Hunter single to make it 3-0. Mohr homered in the fourth to make it 4-0.
Detroit got on the board in the fifth when Monroe homered, but the Twins got the run back in the bottom of the fifth when LeCroy homered. The Tigers got back into it in the sixth. Sanchez led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. Young then delivered a two-out RBI single followed by Monroe's run-scoring double, cutting the margin to 6-3.
That was as good as it would get for Detroit. The Twins scored one more, in the seventh, when Mientkiewicz walked, went to second on a passed ball, and scored on LeCroy's single. The Tigers had men on second and third with two out in the eighth, but did not score again.
WP: Johan Santana (12-3). LP: Nate Robertson (1-2). S: None.
Notes: LeCroy was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski. Stewart was in left, Mohr in right, and Michael Cuddyer at DH. There were no in-game lineup substitutions.
Stewart was 0-for-3 and was batting .307. Mientkiewicz was batting .303.
Santana didn't pitch badly, but he ran into trouble in the sixth. His line was 5.2 innings, three runs, four hits, two walks, and five strikeouts.
Robertson pitched five innings, allowing six runs on six hits and four walks and striking out four.
The relievers for Detroit were Chris Mears, Erik Eckenstahler, Matt Anderson, and Matt Roney. That's the kind of bullpen that leads you to be 38-116, which was the Tigers' record after this game.
The Twins had now won eight straight. The White Sox lost to the Royals, so the Twins edged closer to clinching the division.
Record: The Twins were 86-69, in first place in the American League Central, 4.5 games ahead of Chicago. They were 5.5 games ahead of third-place Kansas City.