Pelfrey helps Twins beat Tigers 3-2

Twins starter Mike Pelfrey retired the last ten Tigers he faced, allowing Minnesota to rally for a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.

Jesse Johnson

On most nights, a good offense is going to get even better as it sees a starting pitcher for the second or third time in a given night.

For the Tigers, things have started going in the other direction.

Tuesday, it cost them a game. Detroit led 2-1 after four innings, but never got another baserunner as the Minnesota Twins scraped out a 3-2 victory.

"This game falls on us," said J.D. Martinez, who scored one of the early runs. "Sanchie went out there and only allowed three runs, and the bullpen kept us in the game. We’ve got to get runners on base and add to those early runs."

Mike Pelfrey only gave up three hits and two walks in his seven innings and retired the last ten batters he faced.

"(Pelfrey) was outstanding, and he deserves a lot of the credit for this one," Brad Ausmus said. "He was moving his fastball in and out, and he was able to keep us off balance."

Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez went a combined 0-for-12 in the game, with nine of the at-bats coming against Pelfrey.

"He pitched a great game against us," Victor Martinez said. "He had a heavy sinker, and we didn’t do anything with it. Luckily, there is an early game tomorrow, so we can get right back out there."

After former Tiger Casey Fien pitched a perfect eighth, Al Alburquerque got out of a jam in the bottom of the inning despite giving up a hit, a walk and a wild pitch while facing four batters. Alburquerque, who is pitching with a sinus infection, has a 10.29 ERA this season at a time when the team badly needs bullpen depth.

That gave Detroit its best possible shot in the ninth, with Cabrera and the two Martinezes facing Twins closer Glen Perkins. It only took 10 pitches, with all three players hitting medium-deep flyballs that were easily caught.

"I thought all three of those guys got good swings, but none of them was quite able to center the ball with the barrel," Ausmus said. "That’s the difference between a ball that goes over the outfielder’s head and one that’s just a routine flyout."

The Twins and Tigers finish the series Wednesday afternoon on FOX Sports Detroit with Tigers Live airing at noon, followed by the first pitch at 1:10 p.m.