Tigers ride big third inning to 10-6 win over Twins
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Detroit Tigers had Kevin Correia on the ropes in the second inning but missed their first chance to knock him out.
They didn’t miss their second.
Torii Hunter had two hits and two RBIs in the Tigers’ seven-run third inning that propelled them to a 10-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.
"We just got pitches that we could drive," said Hunter, who doubled twice among his three hits. "He left some balls up where we could capitalize on them. This guy pitches really well against us. We don’t score many runs off him. But tonight we felt good at the plate and I think we were a little patient today and got some pitches we could handle."
Nick Castellanos had a home run and three RBIs to back Rick Porcello (3-1), who gave up four runs and six hits with four strikeouts in five-plus innings for the Tigers. Rajai Davis added three hits to raise his average to .354.
Correia (0-3) gave up eight runs — seven earned — and eight hits in 2 1-3 innings for Minnesota. It was his shortest outing since going just two innings last Aug. 5 against the Royals.
Chris Colabello drove in his 27th run for the Twins, setting a franchise record for RBIs in April.
Jason Kubel had two doubles among his three hits for the Twins. Brian Dozier hit his seventh homer of the season and Kurt Suzuki drove in two runs, giving him 19 RBIs on the year, which leads all catchers.
Correia served up a two-run homer to Castellanos in the second — and probably only got through that inning thanks to a poor decision by third base coach Dave Clark to send slow-footed Alex Avila from first base on a double by Andrew Romine. Avila was thrown out at home and Ian Kinsler grounded out to short-circuit the rally.
"I was missing from the get-go," Correia said. "Balls were just kind of running back over the middle. I got away with it for an inning or so and then it caught up to me."
But the Tigers had more in store for Correia.
Hunter led off the third with a double and, after Miguel Cabrera’s groundout, the next five batters reached base with three hits and two walks, the last one from Romine with the bases loaded to make it 5-1. Hunter added a two-run single off Anthony Swarzak later in the inning that pushed the lead to 9-1.
"They teach that in baseball: The most important inning is the inning after your team scores," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We were able to bounce back and score not just a few but seven."
There are no statements delivered in April, but the Tigers did throw a little cold water on what has been a surprising start to the season for the Twins. Minnesota has lost at least 96 games in each of the past three years, but rode the second-highest scoring offense in the American League to an 11-10 start that put the Twins right on heavily favored Detroit’s heels in the AL Central.
"It’s something positive you can build off of and that’s what we’re going to do, try to carry it over to the next day," Hunter said. "Usually when you get a loss, as a human being you kind of think about that negative and it can carry over and linger. But since we won and it’s positive, just try to build off it."
After breezing through the first five innings, Porcello didn’t get an out in the sixth before being lifted for Justin Miller. Ausmus had to use five more pitchers to finish the game, but that big third inning gave his team plenty of cushion to absorb a four-run sixth by the Twins.
NOTES: Twins GM Terry Ryan finished his last round of radiation treatment for cancer, assistant GM Rob Antony said. Ryan is expected to return to Target Field this weekend. … Avila left the game with a bruised left shin and is day to day. … Twins OF Oswaldo Arcia was scheduled to fly to Triple-A Rochester on Saturday to start a rehab assignment. Arcia has been on the disabled list since April 5 with a wrist injury. … RHP Anibal Sanchez (0-2, 3.54 ERA) pitches for Detroit on Saturday against RHP Phil Hughes (1-1, 6.43).