DETROIT -- Journeyman P.J. Walters, aided by a beleaguered bullpen, gave Minnesota some relief on Saturday as the Twins snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over a Detroit Tigers team that had won four in a row.
Walters (1-0) scattered eight hits in six innings and walked just one in protecting the three-run lead that Minnesota gave him in the first inning before turning the game over to four relievers.
Walters was brought up from Triple-A Rochester specifically to pitch against Detroit in Comerica Park, where he had a 1-0 record and 2.92 ERA in two previous starts.
Walters buffaloed Detroit until Andy Dirks singled and scored on a double by Torii Hunter in the fifth. He left the bases loaded in the second when he struck Dirks out on three pitches.
Jhonny Peralta narrowed the gap to 3-2 in the sixth with a solo home run, his fifth homer of the season, to right field.
The combination of left-hander Brian Duensing, Josh Roenicke, Jared Burton and closer Glen Perkins held off the Tigers through the final three innings, with Perkins picking up his ninth save.
Too many starters getting knocked out early prompted the Twins to discard two pitchers in the rotation and blend in two others -- Samuel Deduno on Friday night and Walters on Saturday.
Short starts have made the Twins go to their bullpen often and worn their relievers down.
Minnesota jumped on Doug Fister before he had time to settle into a groove, scoring three runs in the first inning.
Joe Mauer, who broke up Anibal Sanchez's no-hit bid in the ninth inning on Friday night, hit his third home run of the season with one out and Josh Willimgham walked. Justin Morneau doubled Willingham home and Chris Parmelee brought him in with a two-out single to center.
Fister (5-2) had just one clean inning, but the only time he allowed two base runners, on two singles to begin the third, he got out of it with the help of a double play.
Twins center fielder Wilkin Ramirez collided with Willingham making a catch in the sixth and had to come out of the game after getting hit in the mouth by the left fielder's arm.
NOTES: The Twins are pushing back RHP Kevin Correia's start to Monday at Milwaukee. Correia was originally supposed to start Saturday, but Minnesota brought up the right-handed Walters, who has good numbers in limited innings at Comerica Park, to start instead. ... Detroit ace Justin Verlander and slugger Miguel Cabrera are "good enough to pitch/play in any era," former Tigers ace Denny McLain said Saturday. McLain, who may be the last pitcher to win 30 games (he won 31 in 1968 when he was MVP and Cy Young Award winners) was at the park on Saturday to take part of the Tigers' honoring the 45th anniversary of the World Series-winning 1968 team. ... Triple-A OF Joe Benson was lost by Minnesota on a waiver claim to Texas. The Twins need a 40-man roster spot so they could start Walters on Saturday. ... Slumping Tigers C Alex Avila, who normally starts against right-handers, was not in Saturday's starting lineup. Switch-hitter Brayan Pena started for the third time in four games. Avila's average is down to .168 and Detroit may be considering sending him to the minors. ... Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the top of the third inning for arguing too strenuously after second base umpire Joe West sent Mauer back to second base on a what looked like a double play. West apparently ruled that Mauer obstructed Peralta even though Peralta got over in time to turn a 3-6-1 double play. It was the second time this year that Gardenhire has been tossed out of a game and the 64th time in his career. ... Fister hit his 11th batter of the season when he plunked Minnesota's Wilkin Ramirez in the fourth inning. He still has hit more batters than he has walked this season. His lone walk in the game put his season total at 10.