Tigers 6, Twins 5, 10 innings

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DETROIT (AP)—Craig Monroe thought that his mental mistake had cost the Detroit Tigers a victory.

Fortunately for him, he got a chance to redeem himself.

Monroe hit a game-winning single in the 10th to give the Tigers a 6-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

In the eighth, Monroe made a throwing error from left field that helped the Twins tie the game and send it into extra innings.

“I felt terrible because I knew it was not smart baseball,” said Monroe, who threw a ball into the dugout while trying to double a runner off first. “This year, Tigers baseball is about playing like professionals.”

Rondell White walked with one out in the 10th, and pinch-runner Andres Torres stole second. Monroe followed with a line-drive single to left off Joe Roa (1-1) to give the Tigers their fifth win in six games.

Detroit started last season 0-9 en route to an AL-record 119 losses. It took the Tigers 30 games to get their fifth victory in 2003.

“Obviously, no one expected us to start 5-1, but here we are,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “We just hope this good feeling continues for a while. We aren’t calling ourselves World Series contenders yet—we know we have a long way to go—but we are enjoying this.”

Roa blamed himself for starting the winning rally by walking White.

“That’s one of my strengths, throwing strikes, then to throw four balls,” he said. “That’s not the way you want to go out there like that, walk a guy in that situation.”

Steve Colyer (1-0) got his first major league win with an inning of scoreless relief. Minnesota used seven pitchers while Detroit used six.

Minnesota starter Johan Santana allowed three runs on five hits in five innings, but needed 94 pitches.

“I felt pretty good—I was just trying to throw the ball over the plate, trying to put the ball in play,” he said. “They hit the ball. They fouled many pitches and made me throw a lot of pitches. That’s why it forced me to come out of the game.”

Tigers starter Mike Maroth gave up three runs in 6 1-3 innings.

“I didn’t get the win, but we did, and that’s all that matters,” said Maroth, who lost 21 games last year to become the first pitcher to reach 20 losses since 1980. “This year, we are expecting to win games like this—we think we have a chance every day. Last year, after we lost so many games early, we went out there with the attitude of waiting for something bad to happen, but that’s gone now.”

Carlos Guillen, one of Detroit’s many new additions, gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead in the seventh with an RBI single off Juan Rincon.

But Henry Blanco doubled to tie it in the eighth after Michael Cuddyer had gone from first to third on Monroe’s error.

Monroe’s game-winner was his only hit in four at-bats.

“I signed my first pro contract in 1995, and since then, I’ve been wondering what a walk-off hit felt like,” he said. “I’d never had one before today—a chance to run to first with your arms up like that. It was a great feeling.”

Carlos Pena went 4-for-4 with a home run, double and three RBIs for the Tigers.

Jose Offerman went 2-for-5 with a two-run single in the seventh that tiedthe game 4-4 for the Twins.


Brandon Inge started in center field for Detroit, his first professional start at any fielding position other than catcher. … Seth Greisinger replaced Santana in the sixth for his first career appearance against Detroit. He spent the first seven years of his career in the Tigers organization, including parts of four seasons with Detroit, before signing with Minnesota as a free agent in November.

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