MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Carlos Silva was curious about Minnesota’s mood when he arrived at the Metrodome, worried about the mental state of his slumping team.
Hearing the tunes cranked up and chattering in the clubhouse, he figured the Twins would be all right.
Silva pitched a complete game, working around nine hits and spurring Minnesota out of its skid with a 6-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday afternoon.
“As soon as I came down the stairs, I heard the music playing and I thought, ‘Oh good,”’ he said.
The Twins ended their four-game losing streak. Silva won his third consecutive decision with help from Matthew LeCroy, who homered and drove in three runs.
They also took advantage of Jason Johnson’s bases-loaded wild pitch—and mental mistake—in a four-run first inning and went on to win for only the fourth time in their last 13 games.
“Carlos did what we needed,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We needed somebody to step up.”
Chris Shelton had three hits, including a home run, for the fourth-place Tigers. They had won four straight and seven of their last eight, creeping closer to the second-place Twins in the AL Central—which began the day as the only division in baseball with four teams above .500.
“I’m happy about the fact we won the series,” manager Alan Trammell said. “I’m not happy that we played a sloppy game today.”
Minnesota donned its dark blue batting practice jerseys, a suggestion made to Silva by equipment manager Jim Dunn—since the starting pitcher gets to pick what the team wears.
“We’ve been talking about how we’ve been swinging good in BP,” Gardenhire said, “so we wore the BP jerseys.”
Silva (6-3), who threw a complete-game shutout against Milwaukee in May with only 74 pitches, struck out two without a walk. He gave up three hits in the ninth, including an RBI single by Alexis Gomez.
“I was trying to throw my game,” said Silva, who threw 71 of his 91 pitches for strikes. “I don’t think about how many pitches I’m going to throw or that I’m going to go nine innings. I just try to do my job.”
After posting a 2.03 ERA over his last seven outings, Johnson (5-6) did himself in with a forgettable first inning.
And the Twins, now 9 1/2 games behind the Chicago White Sox in the division race, took out all their frustrations from the past two weeks.
Joe Mauer’s single was followed by walks to Justin Morneau and Lew Ford, all with two outs. Then Jacque Jones swung and missed at strike three, but it was a wild pitch and skidded past catcher Vance Wilson. Mauer scored and Morneau came all the way around from second standing up, while Johnson just stood and watched without covering home. He was charged with an error.
“That’s what we try to do: Run hard and make the other team make mistakes,” Jones said.
Johnson said he was just frustrated.
“I should have been standing on the plate in the first place,” he said.
LeCroy then hit a bloop single to right, scoring two more and giving Minnesota a 4-0 lead on two hits.
“I should have gotten out of that inning with no runs scored,” Johnson said. “It should have been 0-0 going into the seventh, at least.”
Shelton homered to left-center field, a soaring shot that cut Minnesota’s lead to three.
LeCroy answered it with two outs in the bottom of the inning, connecting off Johnson for a shot off the facade along the football press box above right field that gave the Twins a 5-1 edge.
Johnson, who had thrown eight innings in six of his last eight starts, one of which was shortened by a rain delay, failed to finish the sixth for just the third time in 15 outings this year. He gave up nine hits and two walks while striking out three, with six runs—five earned—charged to him.
Nook Logan stole second in the fifth inning, his 15th of the season. The Tigers have stolen 12 straight bases without being caught and have 21 thefts in their last 23 attempts. … Juan Castro led off the second with a single, ending an 0-for-23 drought.