Max Scherzer struck out 9 in 5 1/3 innings, the win raising his record to 4-3. Carl Pavano was knocked out of the box after 4 1/3 innings and charged with all 6 Tigers' runs. Jose Valverde got credit for his 8th save, his first since May 13th. Pavano's third straight loss dropped him to 2-4 on the season. Prince Fielder led the Tigers' offense with 4 hits and an RBI. Andy Dirks and Miguel Cabrera chimed in with 2 hits and 2 RBI apiece. Justin Morneau and Denard Span homered for the Twins.
The game finally starting after a 20 minute rain delay, the Tigers continued to hit like it was still Friday night, teeing off on Pavano in the 1st inning.
With 1 out, Andy Dirks lined a double off the bottom of the right field wall. Miguel Cabrera drilled a gapper to left center, Dirks scoring on the double. Prince Fielder lined a hard single to center, Cabrera crossing the plate to give the Tigers a. 2-1 lead. Crooked numbers!
The ever pesky Twins got a run the board in the bottom of the inning. The hated Denard Span sent Scherzer's second pitch off the top of right field wall, a double that looked like a home run when it left the bat. With Cabera playing in, Ben Revere smoked a liner off his glove into short left, Span advancing to 3rd. But Mauer grounded into 4-6-3, double play. Span scored, but it also ended the threat.
The Twins tied things up in the 2nd, as Justin Morneau yanked a Scherzer pitch deep into the right field seats. The solo shot was his 9th of the season.
Both Scherzer and Pavano settled in for the next few innings, until the Tigers realized in the 5th inning it was 2012 Carl Pavano pitching, not the 2010 version.
Alex Avila lined a single to right with 1 out. Ramon Santigo bounced a single through the right side hole. With the noodle armed Revere in right, Avila aggressively took the turn at 2nd, sliding safely into 3rd base.
The next play was a carbon copy. Quintin Berry's ground single to right scoring Avila, Santiago beating Revere’s throw to 3rd. Dirks then found the gap in left center, his double plating Santiago and Berry, who sprinted home from 1st base. Cabrera opposite field double to right center, the Tigers'. 3 consecutive run scoring hit, brought home Dirks. More crooked numbers!
Fielder singled, giving the Tigers 6 consecutive hits off Pavano. Even the lumbering Caberea ran on Revere's limp arm, beating the throw to 3rd.
Tiger Killer no more, that was it for Pavano, who allowed 10 hits and 6 runs in only 4 1/3 innings. Brian Duensing took over in long relief. Of course, Delmon Young was 1st pitch swinging, and grounded into his second inning ending double play of the afternoon.. But the Tigers had their posted their second crooked number of the day, a 4 run inning making for a 6-2 lead.
Given a 4 run cushion, Scherzer was mowing down Twins. He struck out the side in the 5th, and started the 6th with another. His 9th K of the day made it 13 consecutive outs for Scherzer. Then the bad eye kicked in, Span smashing his first home run to right, Revere and Mauer singling. But with the Twins down 6-3 and kicking up their heels, the rains returned with a vengeance.
To be honest, with Scherzer starting to show fraying around the edges, the rain couldn't have come at a better time.
After an 42 minute delay, the game resumed, but with Octavio Dotel on the mound for the Tigers. Dotel did a fine job, stranding the runners inherited from Scherzer by striking out Willingham and a inducing a pop up from Morneau.. Scherzer's day was then officially over. It was another solid performance; 5 1/3 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 9 strike outs, no walks.
Dotel was absolutely lights out. He faced 5 Twins, sending all 5 back to the dugout, striking out the side in the 7th.
The bullpen parade continued for the Tigers, Joaquin Benoit taking over in the 8th. The Twins threatened, putting runners at 1st and 2nd with 1 out. But Benoit got the Tigers' 14th and 15th strikeouts of the afternoon to end the threat.
Jose Valverde closed out the Twins with an uneventful 1-2-3 9th. Fully recovered from his back issues, the Big Sweet Potato nailed down his first save in 2 weeks.
The Tigers are on a winning streak for the first time in 5 weeks. It's only 2 games...but 2 counts as a streak!