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Porcello wins 12th, Tigers use 16 hits to pummel Twins into submission, 8-1

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 26: Brandon Inge #15 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates scoring against the Minnesota Twins in the third inning on August 26, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 26: Brandon Inge #15 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates scoring against the Minnesota Twins in the third inning on August 26, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Final - 8.26.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 3 0 8 16 0
Minnesota Twins 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 1
WP: Rick Porcello (12 - 8)
LP: Scott Diamond (0 - 2)

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BOX

KEY STATS

The Tigers have won six of seven, and are 8-2 in their last ten games.

The pitching staff has allowed two runs or less in seven of those ten games. That's how you take control of a divisional race.

KEY PLAY

The Tigers turning a bases loaded double play in the bottom of the 2nd.

The Twins were looking to take a big early lead off a struggling Rick Porcello. loading the bases on a walk, single and HBP. But Matt Tolbert hit a two hopper back to Porcello, who started a pretty 1-2-3 double play. The Twins ultimately scored one run in the inning, but it could have been much, much worse. (thanks to help from the 1st base ump, Ben Revere beat out an RBI infield hit to short, but was rung up for the 3rd out)

KEY THOUGHTS

Remember when the Tigers would travel to Minnesota and really weird, very bad things happened in that God awful dome? I don't miss those days. Not one bit.

It was a workman-like win for the Tigers, taking complete control as the game went on. After playing tense, close series with the Indians and Rays, the Tigers pulling away in the late innings, winning a relative laugher against the Twins was a relief. It was nice not needing Maalox to get through a nine inning game.

Rick Porcello found himself in and out of trouble most of the evening, and was bailed out by a couple of big double plays early. Porcello settled down somewhat as the game went on, and pitched into the 7th. Regardless, 7 H and 3 BB in 6.1 innings is not exactly efficient pitching...but it was good enough for Porcello to earn his 12th win of the season, while dropping his ERA to a still disturbingly high 5.08.

Phil Coke continued his streak of fine relief performances, throwing 1.2 innings of no hit, no run, 3 K baseball. Ryan Perry continued his bullpen renaissance, tossing a 1-2-3 9th.

Brandon Inge reminded us he can still play a little defense, making a diving stop on Tevor Plouffe's hard shot down the 3rd base line, then throwing out Plouffe from his knees.

The Tigers held a hit-fest, belting Twins pitching around for 16 hits. Leading the hit parade was Victor Martinez with three hits and four RBI.

Miguel Cabrera celebrated the birth of his child by getting on base four times, chalking up two singles, a double and walk.

"Second half" Raburn went into tonight with a post All-Star Game slash line of .309/.347/.515. It's only gotten better after his 3-5 performance. I"m at a loss trying to figure it out.

The day off broke Alex Avila, striking out three times while going 1-5.

As for the big league principals in the recent Tigers/Twins trade? Delmon Young had three hits (even if one was of the swinging bunt variety) and three RBI. The PTBNL in deal, former Tigers reliever Lester Oliveros, was completely ineffective, to the tune of 0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB. I'm going to call it. The Tigers win the trade.

John Wagner, Mud Hens beat writer for the Toledo Blade, tweeted the following after the game:

#Tigers fans: Just found out that Jon Matlack has been let go as Detroit's minor-league pitching coordinator. Class act who will be missed.

Make of it what you will.

The Indians beat the Royals in their usual come from behind fashion, while the White Sox are up on the Mariners out west. Thus, the Tigers remain 6.5 up on the Tribe, 7.5 on the Sox as I write.

At 72-59, the Tigers are 13 games over .500, the most they have been over the line of mediocrity since early September of 2009.

And in case you've forgotten, or live under a rock, Justin Verlander goes for win number 20 Saturday afternoon.