« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Dave Campbell / Associated Press, Published April 03 2013

Twins rally past Tigers in 9th for 3-2 win

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota went scoreless against another Detroit starter, and the top of the Tigers lineup was constantly on base.

This time, the Twins finished the rally they failed to complete on opening day. And the last guy off the bench got it done.

Eduardo Escobar’s two-run double with one out in the ninth inning lifted the Twins to a 3-2 victory over the Tigers on Wednesday.

“You lose the first game, and some people think the world is going to end,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “But you get a lot of chances to win baseball games. ... You just have to keep playing, and that’s what we did today. It’s a big boost out there to get a win under your belt against a great team over there. That was fun baseball.”

After Joaquin Benoit issued a leadoff walk to Trevor Plouffe, reliever Phil Coke took over in the ninth. Coke (0-1) recorded the first out, but Brian Dozier’s single advanced pinch-runner Jamey Carroll to third. Then Escobar drove a first-pitch fastball from to the deepest part of the park, where it bounced on the warning track in front of the bullpens in left-center field.

Both runners scored easily as the rebuilding Twins enjoyed their first on-field celebration of the season. They also spoiled another strong Tigers pitching performance, this one by Anibal Sanchez after Justin Verlander threw five shutout innings on Monday.

“He hit it a lot better than I thought,” Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson said. “I didn’t think it was going out. I kept running, and it seemed like it kept carrying.”

The AL Central champion Tigers began the season without a set closer after Jose Valverde wasn’t brought back. Coke has been the head of the committee so far. The left-hander notched a two-up, two-down save in the opener.

“That’s our plan when we’re facing a closer: Get up there ready to hit,” Dozier said.

Darin Downs also allowed a run in the sixth on pinch-hitter Wilkin Ramirez’s double, after Tigers relievers gave up runs in shaky sixth and seventh innings on Monday.

Valverde, a three-time All-Star who struggled in the playoffs, became a free agent and wasn’t re-signed. Hard-throwing prospect Bruce Rondon was sent to Triple-A. So the bullpen became the biggest concern of the spring for the Tigers in their attempt to return to the World Series – and win it this time.

The game-time temperature was 46 degrees, up 11 from the opener, but the afternoon winds were still whipping across the diamond. The announced attendance was 22,963, the smallest crowd in terms of tickets sold since Target Field opened in 2010.

Detroit Minnesota

ab r h bi ab r h bi

AJcksn cf 3 1 1 0 Hicks cf 3 0 0 0

TrHntr rf 4 0 2 0 Mauer c 4 0 0 0

MiCarr 3b 4 0 2 2 Wlngh lf 2 0 0 0

Fielder 1b 4 0 0 0 Mstrnn pr-lf 0 0 0 0

VMrtnz dh 4 0 0 0 Mornea 1b 3 0 1 0

Dirks lf 4 0 0 0 Doumit dh 4 0 0 0

JhPerlt ss 4 0 0 0 Plouffe 3b 2 1 0 0

Avila c 3 0 1 0 Carroll pr 0 1 0 0

Infante 2b 3 1 1 0 Parmel rf 4 0 0 0

Dozier 2b 4 1 1 0

Flormn ss 2 0 1 0

WRmrz ph 1 0 1 1

EEscor ss 1 0 1 2

Totals 33 2 7 2 Totals 30 3 5 3

Detroit 001 010 000— 2

Minnesota 000 000 102— 3

One out when winning run scored.

LOB—Detroit 5, Minnesota 8. 2B—W.Ramirez (1), E.Escobar (1). SB—Plouffe (1).

IP H R ER BB SO

Detroit

Ani.Sanchez 5 2 0 0 3 5

D.Downs H,1 1Zc 0 1 1 1 3

Villarreal H,1 Xc 1 0 0 0 2

Benoit H,2 1 0 1 1 2 0

Coke L,0-1 BS Zc 2 1 1 0 0

Minnesota

Correia 7 7 2 2 1 2

Burton 1 0 0 0 0 1

Perkins W,1-0 1 0 0 0 0 1

Benoit pitched to 1 batter in the 9th.

T—3:01. A—22,963 (39,021).