Twins 4, Tigers 3
Santana (6-3) gave up just one unearned run, struck out five and walked three in Minnesota’s 18th win in its last 19 against Detroit.
“I was able to throw the first pitch for a strike,” Santana said. “And if I didn’t to that, I was able to throw a pitch to make them put it into play.”
But the Tigers made it close by scoring twice with one out in the ninth off closer Eddie Guardado. Dmitri Young doubled and Craig Monroe lined a two-run homer over the wall in left-center to make it 4-3. Guardado then struck out Carlos Pena and got Eric Munson to fly out for his 26th save in 29 opportunities.
“Eddie came in, gave me a heart attack,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “But that’s fine, we’re looking for wins. We’ll take a win.”
Guardado said he tried to throw the pitch away from Monroe.
“Obviously, I don’t want to walk a guy in that situation,” he said. “That’s when bad things happen. I try to use the same approach. Things like that will happen.”
Mike Maroth (6-16) took the loss for the Tigers, allowing four runs—one unearned—and seven hits in eight innings.
“I think any loss at this point is difficult to deal with,” Maroth said. “It really doesn’t matter how I pitch. I was happy with the way I pitched. I was able to go out there, get eight innings in and help the bullpen.”
Brandon Inge was the only Tigers player to reach against Santana in the first four innings. Inge doubled with one out in the first when right fielder Michael Restovich misjudged his line drive. Santana then picked off Inge at first and Bobby Higginson flied out to end the inning.
Inge walked with one out in the fourth and moved to second on Higginson’s groundout to first, but Young struck out to end the inning.
“The guy was throwing 93-94 from the left side and he had everything working, his off-speed pitches were working, his fastball was in the zone, his slider, curve, everything was in the zone,” Monroe said. “If he’s got all those pitches working, you’re going to have a long night, and that’s what happened.”
Minnesota took a 3-0 lead in the third on Restovich’s RBI triple, Cristian Guzman’s sacrifice fly and Doug Mientkiewicz’s RBI single. The Twins might have scored more, but Shannon Stewart was thrown out trying to steal third for the second out and Mientkiewicz was picked off first by Maroth for the final out.
LeCroy added a run in the fourth with his 10th homer.
Detroit scored an unearned run in the fifth on Santana’s throwing error.
Monroe led off with a walk and Pena singled to send him to second. After Santana got Munson looking, Shane Halter bounced one back to Santana. But his throw to second was high and off the glove of shortstop Guzman and into center. Monroe scored, Pena went to third and Halter was safe at first on the play. Ramon Santiago ended the inning by bouncing into a third-to-second-to-firstdouble play.
Twins outfielder Jacque Jones didn’t play because of a groin injury. He reaggravated a strained left groin Thursday against Baltimore. He was on the DL with the injury July 5-17 … Tigers manager Alan Trammell used the same lineup Friday that he did in Thursday’s 3-2 over Oakland. It featured catchers Ben Petrick—playing center field—and Inge batting first and second … Stewart was 2-for-4 and is 37-for-91 (.407) since being acquired from Toronto on July16.