Twins 6, Tigers 3
Justin Morneau showed contending teams who may want to make a
deal for him he’s still got it, hitting a two-run homer and a
two-run double before finishing with a season-high four hits to
help the Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 6-3 Tuesday
”He’s obviously still a threat,” Tigers right-hander Rick
Porcello said after Morneau roughed him up. ”The home run was one
of the better pitches I threw to him all night.”
Glen Perkins struck out Miguel Cabrera with two on for the final
out to help the fourth-place Twins hold on for the win against the
AL Central-division leading Tigers.
Cabrera, who has been playing through a series of injuries,
finished his last at-bat in pain.
”You could see it in his facial expression,” said Tigers
manager Jim Leyland, adding he didn’t know what Cabrera’s latest
ailment was about 15 minutes after the game ended.
Mike Pelfrey (5-10) gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 2-3
innings. Jared Burton got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the
eighth, and Perkins finished for his 29th save in 32 chances –
Detroit catcher Brayan Pena led off the ninth with a single
after fouling a pitch off his right big toe and struggling to run
to first base before, he was replaced by Bryan Holaday. After
Austin Jackson walked with two outs, Cabrera came to the plate.
The fans that stuck around rose to their feet only to go home
disappointed when the reigning AL MVP swung and missed on a third
”When you get to their closer, it’s going to be pretty rough to
come back,” Leyland said. ”I think he’s one of the best in the
Porcello (9-7) allowed five runs and seven hits over 4 1-3
innings for Detroit.
The Twins were without All-Star Joe Mauer, who was scratched
from his start at first when he experienced dizziness during
Minnesota might end the season without Morneau, who can be
traded by the end of the month because he cleared waivers.
”That’s just part of baseball in August,” he said. ”There’s
nothing I can do about it, and I don’t expect anything to happen.
But if it does, I’ll deal with it. Right now, I’m just
Gardenhire also said before the game he didn’t plan to put Mauer
behind the plate during the series, insisting the decision had
nothing to do with Mauer’s mask getting hit by a lot of baseballs
when he played catcher Monday against the New York Mets. A couple
hours later, Mauer was taken out of the lineup. And after the game,
Mauer was put on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
”I’m glad we have the means to find out that someone’s hurt and
do the right thing for them,” Gardenhire said. ”For a long time,
you had guys playing through these things, but now we have the
tests to find out that something is wrong and take care of
The Twins put Morneau, who is in the final year of his contract,
on revocable waivers last week and he wasn’t claimed. He was
drafted by Minnesota in 1999 and has been a cornerstone of the team
for a decade.
”You’d love for him to finish his career here,” Gardenhire
said. ”It’s now always up to the manager.”
Prince Fielder hit his 20th homer to get the Tigers within two
runs in the fourth inning, but they allowed Minnesota to build its
lead in each of the next two innings.
Phil Coke pitched in relief of Porcello and Morneau sent his
first pitch into the right-field gap to put Minnesota up 5-1 in the
After the game, Coke was sent to Triple-A Toledo to work on his
control and left-handed pitcher Jose Alvarez was recalled.
”We’re not down on Phil Coke,” Leyland insisted. ”He’s coming
back Sept. 1.”
That wasn’t of much consolation for Coke.
”I’m not happy,” he said. ”I don’t know who would be.”
Pedro Florimon hit a solo homer off Jeremy Bonderman in the
sixth, giving the Twins a five-run lead.
NOTES: The Twins want to see RHP Samuel Deduno pitch in the
bullpen before letting him take his start in the rotation Friday
because he has biceps tendinitis. … Tigers C Alex Avila, who
hasn’t played since Aug. 10 because of concussion symptoms,
participated in pregame drills on the field and the early returns
from his workout were positive. Avila will wear a mask with more
padding when he returns to play. … Twins OF Oswaldo Arcia was out
of the lineup because of a sore left wrist.