DETROIT -- It was a good matchup for Scott Diamond -- a two-game losing streak and the Detroit Tigers.
"We didn't want to get swept at all," Diamond said Wednesday after halting Detroit's five-game winning streak with six innings of four-hit pitching in a 6-2 Minnesota victory.
Diamond came into the game with a 14-16 career record and 3.86 ERA. Against Detroit, he was only 1-2 but had a 2.67 ERA.
"They won the division. They were in the World Series. They're in first place and the team to beat in our division," Diamond said. "I enjoy coming in here to pitch and I enjoy facing them."
Diamond (2-2), whose longest start in four outings this season is 6 1/3 innings, held the Tigers hitless until Jhonny Peralta singled to right with one out in the fifth.
Nothing came of that, but Austin Jackson doubled, Torii Hunter singled and Miguel Cabrera doubled -- all with one out in the sixth -- to trim a three-run Detroit deficit to 3-2. Diamond got Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez on groundouts to end the threat.
"At any time they can strike," Diamond said. "Those two runs were pretty quick"
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, "Diamond pitched pretty good. He's been a good pitcher for us. He keeps the ball out of the middle of the plate.
"There's always that one inning against those guys when you end up facing their two big guys. Which we always seem to be doing."
Minnesota countered in the seventh by pouncing on hard-throwing reliever Bruce Rondon to break open the game.
Afterward, Detroit announced that Rondon was being returned to Triple-A Toledo and Luke Putkonen was being brought up to replace him in the Tigers' bullpen.
"He's just not ready for us," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
"It's a learning process," said Rondon's catcher, Brayan Pena. "He's going down for his own good."
Rondon fed Aaron Hicks a 2-1 fastball clocked at 101 mph and the Twins' rookie clocked it into right field for a leadoff triple, only his ninth hit of the season.
"He's a good player," Gardenhire said of his rookie center fielder, who got a breathing day Tuesday night to maybe take some of the pressure off. "He's been fighting through it."
Pedro Florimon grounded another 101 mph pitch up the middle for a single and a 4-2 Minnesota lead. Rondon walked two batters after getting an out and Morneau greeted southpaw Darin Downs with an RBI single to center.
Parmelee started the eighth with a home run, his second of the season, to make it 6-2.
Anibal Sanchez, who set a Tigers record with 17 strikeouts in his previous start, went to a full count on the first five batters he faced and was staring at a 2-0 deficit before the first inning was complete.
Sanchez (3-2) struck out the first two batters he faced, but Josh Willingham then walked, Morneau sliced a double into the left-field corner for the first run and Parmelee drove him in with a single he sliced to left.
"We made Sanchez throw a lot of pitches early in the game," Gardenhire said. "We had some good at-bats in that first inning."
Florimon singled with one out in the second and scored on a two-out double by Jamey Carroll to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead.
Casey Fien and Jared Burton retired the Tigers in order in the seventh and eighth, respectively, but Glen Perkins needed a double play in the ninth off the bat of Victor Martinez to quiet Detroit after Cabrera and Fielder opened with singles.
Sanchez struck out nine in his seven innings, and when Jose Ortega, brought up earlier in the day, slipped a third strike by Willingham in the ninth, it marked the sixth straight game with double-digit strikeouts for Tigers pitchers. It's the longest such streak in the American League since at least 1916.
NOTES: Minnesota pitchers had allowed 11 home runs entering the series, tied with Detroit for fewest in the league, but gave up two on Monday and three on Tuesday. ... Left-hander Phil Coke was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday by Detroit, which brought up Ortega to replace him in the bullpen. The Coke move was retroactive to April 26. Ortega had not given up an earned run in 10 games with Triple-A Toledo, striking out 19 in 14 innings. He fanned two in his inning Wednesday. ... Catcher Joe Mauer did not play for Minnesota's on Wednesday under Gardenhire's plan to give him two days off while just missing one game. The Twins are not scheduled to play Thursday. ... Right-fielder Avisail Garcia (right heel bruise) was recalled from his rehab assignment Wednesday by Detroit, which then optioned him to Triple-A Toledo. ... Left-hander Rafael Perez reportedly told Minnesota he would decline his contract opt-out date of Wednesday and remain with the Twins to continue rehabbing his shoulder. He worked an extended spring training inning Tuesday and hopes to be able to join Triple-A Rochester later this month.