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Tigers split double-header with the Twins


MINNEAPOLIS (WKZO) -- A day after being pounded on by the Twins 20-6, Detroit took a second beating in the first half of a doiuble-bill , 12-4 and then rebounded in the evening to win the second game. .

In the matinee, Minnesota started racking up runs off rookie Buck Farmer's pitches right away, with a single by Joe Mauer in the bottom of the first. Detroit countered an inning later with a Nick Castellanos double (off which Victor Martinez scored), but as soon as the Twins went back to bat, the game turned into a one-sided show.

That inning saw not just a triple from Minnesota's Jordan Schafer, but also another run driven in by Mauer and a double from Kennys Vargas, which turned the Twins' lead into 6 runs. Detroit couldn't muster anything for three more innings, but they did make the decision to remove the struggling Farmer, putting reliever Patrick McCoy in. However, after two more Minnesota runs in the third, McCoy was out and Kyle Lobstein was in.

The fifth inning had Detroit pushing back a little harder, driving in three runs courtesy of Ian Kinsler, Ezequiel Carrera and Miguel Cabrera. Lobstein also had better luck than the previous two pitchers, until Kennys Vargas doubled for three runs.

After being outscored 32-10 (including 12-4 earlier today), through the first three games of a weekend series with the Minneosta Twins (58-71), the Detroit Tigers (69-59) were able to bounce back and take game two of Saturday's double header, 8-6, at Target Field in Minneapolis. 

Justin Verlander (10-11, 4.82 ERA) got his first start since August 11 for the Tigers, and faced early adversity in his return from shoulder inflammation. His pitch count rose quickly, resulting in a short start that spanned just 5.2 innings. Verlander surrendered four earned runs on eight hits, while striking out six Twins' batters.

Fortunately for Detroit, they were able to give the pitching staff some much needed run support by driving in runners in six of the first eight innings of the game, including multi-RBI performances from Nick Castellanos (2) and Eugenio Suarez (2).

Trailing 8-5 and entering the bottom of the ninth, the Twins were able to claw to within two runs of the Tigers with Joe Nathan on the hill for Detroit . Eventually the Tigers' closer was able to shut the door on the Twins' rally efforts.

The Tigers' offense belted 17 hits (15 singles) in the victory, and only Rajai Davis was held without a hit for Detroit. Over the first three games of the weekend series with Minnesota, the Tigers have combined for 42 base-knocks. 

The win for Detroit snapped a three-game losing skid, and moves the Tigers three games behind the Royals for the lead in the AL Central, and one game behind the Seattle Mariners for the second Wild Card position in the American League. 

The Tigers and Twins will finish their weekend series Sunday afternoon at Target Field with the first pitch scheduled for 2:10 pm. Coverage on AM 590 WKZO will begin at 1:45.