Twins top Tigers 6-4 with 4-run 4th inning

Published 9:33 am Tuesday, July 3, 2012

DETROIT  — Ron Gardenhire deflected credit on the night the Minnesota Twins gave their manager his 900th career victory.

Trevor Plouffe hit a two-run single, one of six singles during Minnesota’s four-run fourth inning, to help the Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 6-4 Monday night.

“This is all about getting 900 wins for our organization,” Gardenhire said. “The people above me who gave me the chance, and the players that have gone out there and played the game. All I have ever had to do is tell them to play the right way, play hard and respect the game. They did the rest.”

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The Twins have won four straight to match their season-best winning streak from May 16-19 that included two wins at Detroit.

“We’ve got some momentum now and we want to keep that going,” Josh Willingham said. “We got the early runs, but you knew that offense was going to get them back into the game. Our bullpen’s been great and they shut them down tonight.”

Anthony Swarzak (2-4) picked up the win, allowing a hit and one walk in 2 2-3 innings of relief. Alex Burnett allowed only one walk in 1 1-3 innings and Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his third save in five chances in place of injured closer Matt Capps.

Detroit was trying to get back to .500 for the first time since May 15.

Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder hit one-out singles in the ninth, but their teammates couldn’t bring them home. Delmon Young hit a long fly for the second out and Brennan Boesch struck out to end the game.

Boesch also had a chance to help his team in the seventh, but the pinch-hitter was struck out by Burnett on three pitches with two on to end the inning.

“You want to be up in those situations,” Boesch said. “You hope to get it done, but in this game odds are you won’t.”

Doug Fister (1-6) gave up six runs and eight hits in four-plus innings, leaving the Tigers with a five-run deficit. He faded after a strong start that included striking out the side in the first and holding the Twins without a hit for 3 1-3 innings.

“He got rushing in the fourth and just made some bad pitches,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “He’s just not real sharp.”


Cabrera hit a two-run double and Young had a sacrifice fly in the fifth to make it 6-4, but that was it for Detroit.

The Twins built a cushion with six runs over the fourth and fifth innings. Willingham and Ryan Doumit also had RBI singles in the fourth, and Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau each singled in a run in the fifth to make it 6-1.

Minnesota starter Liam Hendriks failed to finish the fifth inning and remains without a win in 12 career starts. He faced four batters in the fifth and gave up a leadoff single, a four-pitch walk, Cabrera’s double and bounced a pitch before it reached the plate to walk Fielder and end his outing.

The Tigers had won five of eight to pull within a victory of a .500 record for the eighth time.

“We haven’t really synchronized all year, but the players have done a good job of staying pretty stable,” Leyland said.