MINNESOTA 10, DETROIT 4 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Monday, May 3.
Batting stars: Wilson Ramos was 3-for-4 with two doubles. J. J. Hardy was 2-for-4 with a double. Justin Morneau was 2-for-4. Denard Span was 2-for-5 with a triple and two RBIs. Michael Cuddyer was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer (his fourth), a walk, and two runs.
Pitching star: Scott Baker pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out six.
Opposition stars: Brad Thomas pitched 3.2 scoreless innings of relief, giving up four hits and striking out one. Austin Jackson was 3-for-5 with a triple and a double. Miguel Cabrera was 2-for-3. Brennan Boesch was 2-for-4 with a double.
The game: The Twins took control of this one early. With one out in the first, Orlando Hudson singled, Morneau walked, Jim Thome had an RBI single, and Cuddyer hit a three-run homer, giving the Twins a 4-0 lead. In the second Ramos singled, Nick Punto walked, Span hit a two-run triple, and an RBI ground out made the score 7-0 Twins.
The Tigers tried to get back into it. In the fourth Cabrera singled and scored from first on Boesch's double. In the fifth Ramon Santiago walked, Jackson singled, a wild pitch moved them to second and third, and a pair of RBI ground outs made it 7-3.
That was as close as Detroit would come. With one out in the fifth Cuddyer and Jason Kubel walked, Hardy had an RBI single, Ramos hit a run-scoring double, and Punto contributed a sacrifice fly, giving the Twins a 10-3 advantage.
The final Tigers run came in the ninth, when Santiago walked and scored on Jackson's two-out triple.
WP: Baker (3-2). LP: Max Scherzer (1-2). S: None.
Notes: This was the second game of Ramos' career. With a 3-for-4 day, his batting average dropped from .800 to .778. He was playing due to an injury to Joe Mauer. He would play just seven games for the Twins, go back to AAA, and then be traded in late July with Joe Testa for Matt Capps.
Kubel was in left, with Cuddyer in right and Morneau at first base. Morneau would be injured and miss the second half of the season, so the regular alignment would then be Cuddyer at first, Kubel in right, and Delmon Young in left.
Punto was still the regular third baseman, as Danny Valencia would not be called up for another month.
Morneau was leading the team in batting at .356. He would be at .345 when he got hurt. Cuddyer was batting .308. He would finish at .271. Hudson was batting .306. He would finish at .268.
Scherzer lasted just 4.1 innings and allowed all ten runs on eight hits and four walks and struck out one. He was just twenty-four, and in his second full season. He was not what he would become, but he was still a solid pitcher already. He went 12-11, 3.50, 1.25 WHIP in 2010. By game scores, this would by far be the worst game he had this season.
Record: The Twins were 17-9, in first place in the American League Central, 1.5 games ahead of Detroit. They would finish 94-68, in first place, six games ahead of Chicago.
The Tigers were 16-11, in second place in the American League Central, 1.5 games behind Minnesota. They would finish 81-81, in third place, thirteen games behind Minnesota.