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Tigers 7, Twins 3: Late-game heroics lift Detroit to series split with Minnesota

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Final - 7.5.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota Twins 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 15 1
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 5 X 7 9 1
WP: Octavio Dotel (2 - 2)
LP: Alex Burnett (2 - 1)

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After Rick Porcello was chased by the Minnesota Twins before the end of the fourth inning, it really felt like one of those games that wasn't going to go right. Or as some might say in Twitter hashtag format: #TwinsHits. Minnesota had 12 of them. Some were your regular variety. In the fourth inning, they seemed to be more of the infield-single-whoopsy-daisy sort. Not that the Tigers' defense was doing anything to help Porcello. Not that Porcello was doing anything to help Porcello, as he collected an error and was undressed like Charlie Brown by comebackers.

The next half inning seemed like a subplot meant to contrast. A line drive bounced off the leg of Twins starter Scott Diamond and ricocheted perfectly for an easy scoop and throw by the third baseman for an out. Some sort of bad Karma we don't know about? I don't know.

But Detroit inched back into it before finally getting to the Twins' bullpen in a big way in the eighth. The key: Five consecutive Tigers reached base during that frame. It started with an Austin Jackson triple. Pinch-hitter Quintin Berry walked. Miguel Cabrera singled up the middle. Prince Fielder hit a three-run bomb into the right field seats. Then Delmon Young followed up with his own solo shot. It required video review before being confirmed.

So like that, a 3-2 deficit was turned into a 7-3 lead.

The not-so-unsung hero in all of this was Darin Downs, whose story we detailed a few days ago. He pitched in relief of Rick Porcello, racked up three innings of one-hit ball and gave the Tigers the chance to come back. Octavio Dotel bridged the gap with 1 1/3 innings of one-hit ball and Jose Valverde earned the save the thanks of Tigers fans everywhere..

So Detroit's back to a game under .500. Obviously splitting with the Twins isn't the way anyone drew it up a few days ago -- especially with the way Chicago handled the Rangers. But you've got to be at least somewhat happy that the series didn't take a complete turn in Minnesota's favor. But if Detroit doesn't start taking more games in series at home, it's splitting is going to be pretty unrewarding by the end of the year.


Darin Downs - 3 IP, 1 H

Prince Fielder - 2-for-4, 3R HR

Austin Jackson - 2-for-4, triple


Delmon Young - 2-for-3, HR, WALK


Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera both contributed so much, they're both winers.