Tigers' Hunter haunts Twins in Detroit win

MINNEAPOLIS -- Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter has made a habit of haunting his former team. The veteran right fielder had three hits and two RBIs Friday as the Tigers won 10-6 against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.

Hunter has four straight multi-hit games against the Twins and is slashing at a .432 clip (16-for-37) in his last eight games against Minnesota, the organization that drafted him in the first round in 1993 and where he was the face of the franchise for eight seasons.

"I just go out and play," Hunter said. "Even when I played for the Twins, I just went out and played hard and gave it my all. That's what I'm doing with the Tigers. Doesn't matter if it's the Twins or whoever, I just try to put forth my best effort."

Hunter wasn't the only Tiger to have success at the plate Friday. Every player in the Tigers' starting lineup had at least a hit, as Detroit scored two runs in the second inning on a two-run homer by third baseman Nick Castellanos then scored seven in a marathon third. Eight straight Tigers reached in the frame, including Hunter, who had two hits and an RBI in the inning. The Detroit offense succeeded in their plan of attack against Twins starting pitcher Kevin Correia, who entered the game with a career 2.75 ERA in six starts against the Tigers.

"Usually, this guy pitches really well against us. We don't score many runs off him," Hunter said. "Correia likes to throw that cutter away and we just wanted to stay on the ball. Most of the righties, keep your shoulder in there and stay on the ball because he's one of those pitchers that will come inside just to show you. Stay on those cutters away."

Left fielder Rajai Davis also had a three-hit night for the Tigers, his second consecutive three-hit game. He knocked in two runs, stole his eighth base of the season and lifted his average to .354. Castellanos and first baseman Miguel Cabrera had two hits apiece.

Detroit made life difficult for Correia, who didn't last long. He was lifted after 2 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits and two walks. He dropped to 0-3 this season.

"I just wasn't able to hit any of my spots. I can't pitch like that against a team like that or I'm going to get hit around," Correia said. "It's one thing to get hit around, but I'm not going to walk guys in and give you free bases. I just wasn't able to make pitches when I needed to."

Detroit had nine runs on 11 hits by the end of the third inning and opened up a 10-1 lead in the sixth on an RBI single by Cabrera.

"He just was not able to regroup and they kind of smothered him there in the seven-run inning," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Normally, a big inning like that can eat you up early."

Minnesota did its best to chip away at the lead as five straight Twins reached base to start the sixth inning. They scored four runs to make it 10-5 and added another in the seventh to make it a four-run game but could get no closer. Tigers righty Joba Chamberlain worked out of a two-on, one out threat in the eighth inning and righty Joe Nathan surrendered a single in the ninth but coaxed a strikeout and a groundout to first to end the game.

Left fielder Jason Kubel had three hits and an RBI to lead the Twins' offensive attack. Catcher Kurt Suzuki knocked in two runs and right fielder Chris Colabello made some history with an RBI single in the sixth inning. Colabello has 27 RBIs, breaking Kirby Puckett's 20-year old franchise record of 26 RBIs in the month of April.

Rick Porcello pitched five-plus innings for the Tigers to improve to 3-1 this season. He allowed four runs, all earned, on six hits and a walk while striking out four. Porcello cruised through five innings but ran into trouble in the sixth, allowing three straight hitters on before being removed from the game. He was hit on the right elbow on a comebacker to the mound off the bat of Twins designated hitter Josmil Pinto in the second inning, but stayed in the game.

"He said (the elbow) wasn't bothering him and he said he was fine and he was just scuffling a bit," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He may not admit it, but I think that had an effect on him."

The Tigers will send righty Anibal Sanchez (0-2, 3.54 ERA) to the mound Saturday against the Twins' Phil Hughes (1-1, 6.43).

NOTES: Twins OF Sam Fuld had a broken bat single to left field off Tigers RHP Rick Porcello in his first home at-bat and followed with another single in the fifth. He has three multi-hit games in three games with the Twins. ... Tigers 3B Nick Castellanos had three RBIs Friday. His 13 RBIs in April are the fourth most by a Tigers rookie in franchise history and the most since Matt Nokes had 14 in 1987. ... The Tigers have won three of four and five of seven overall and improved to 6-3 against the American League Central this season.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for our Editorial Team, please contact us at Editorial

            share   SHARE   rss   RSS FEED   email   EMAIL   print   PRINT

There haven't been any comments posted on this article. Be the first to respond!

You are currently not logged in.
Login | Signup | Help
You must be logged in to post a comment.

Top Response

There have been no comments on this article. Be the first to respond!