MINNEAPOLIS -- The Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins faced off in what started as an old-fashioned pitchers duel Friday at Target Field, but ended in a one-sided Tigers win. Starters Rick Porcello and Scott Diamond took shutouts into the sixth inning, but the Tigers' powerful lineup finally got to Diamond en route to a 4-0 Tigers win.
Porcello was brilliant, allowing three hits across seven strong innings of shutout ball. He threw 94 pitches with no walks and five strikeouts, keeping the Twins hitters off balance all game.
Diamond's decent performance was marred in the sixth when he gave up a leadoff walk to Austin Jackson, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt.
Diamond then had to pick his poison. He intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera to pitch to Prince Fielder, who hit a two-run double off the wall for his second two-bagger of the game. Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta each followed with a double and increased the Tigers' lead to 4-0.
Diamond left the game after 98 pitches in 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits, two walks and one strikeout.
The Tigers, who came into the game with their bullpen posting a record of 4-12, had a little trouble getting to the finish line.
Drew Smyly started the eighth inning, retired one batter and walked the next one. Then Brian Dozier reached on catcher's interference. But Joaquin Benoit came in and finished off the eighth.
Closer Jose Valverde entered in the ninth and walked leadoff hitter Joe Mauer. But Brian Doumit cleared the bases by hitting into a double play. Valverde then hit Josh Willingham with a pitch, but struck out Justin Morneau to end the game.
Porcello and Diamond took command of the game early, as both were throwing one-hitters through three innings and shutout ball through five.
Porcello struck out four of the first five batters he faced, while Diamond induced seven ground-ball outs in the first three innings.
The Twins defense helped Diamond, making several nice plays on hard-hit balls to short and third.
The Twins' first hit came on a third-inning single past second baseman Omar Infante by former Tiger Clete Thomas. But Thomas was thrown out trying to steal second.
Diamond, meanwhile, gave up two two-out doubles (one to Peralta and the other to Fielder), but both runners were stranded.
NOTES: The Tigers have won 17 of the club's last 23 games at Target Field, dating back to Sept. 2, 2010. ... Cabrera came into the game leading the major leagues with 91 hits, which is the most by a Tigers player through 64 games since Al Kaline had 95 hits in the first 64 games in 1955. Cabrera went 0-for-3 on Friday... Before Friday's action, Twins outfielders had recorded 21 outfield assists this season, which is the most in baseball. ... Josh Willingham has four home runs and seven RBIs against the Tigers, which are both the most of any major leaguer this season against Detroit.