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

night.

”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 –

barely.

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

strike.

”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

league.”

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

batting practice.

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

playing.”

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

them.”

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

fifth inning.

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.