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MORNEAU LEADS TWINS TO RUBBER GAME WIN.....Minnesota 5, TIGERS 1, W 6/30/10
Posted on: 06-30-2010

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>>caption:  BUTERA (#41) WAS SAFE
WHEN OLIVER'S THROW PULLED
GUILLEN (L) OFF THE BAG TO SET UP
MINNY's GO-AHEAD RALLY<<

@ MINNEAPOLIS, MN:

    As in his first big league start last
Friday at Atlanta, the Tigers supported
LHP Andy Oliver with only one run on
Wednesday afternoon.
    Oliver wasn't quite as good his
second time around, some of his
trouble of his own making, and Detroit
lost at Minnesota 5-1.
    After briefly going ahead of the Twins into first place for a day, Detroit
is now a game and a half back of Minnesota in the AL-Central after concluding
a 3-6 road trip with only one win in each of their three city stops.
    The scoreless deadlock was broken when each team scored in the 4th-INN on
a pair of RBI doubles from Miguel Cabrera of Detroit and Justin Morneau of the
Twins.
    Oliver's error led to a pair of B-5th unearned runs which put the Twins on top.
Nick Punto singled off the glove of Tiger SStop Danny Worth. Drew Butera put down
a sac-bunt, but Oliver threw high and pulled 2Bman Carlos Guillen off the bag covering
first and everybody was safe. Next, Denard Span also sac-bunted just a foot in front
of the plate and there was time for a forceout at third, but Detroit didn't have the
wheel play on and nobody covered the bag at the hot corner. Orlando Hudson hit a
flyball to CField, what should have been the inning's third out, but instead it went as
a sac-fly to plate Punto. Delmon Young followed with an RBI-1B to score Butera, although
Young ended up getting thrown out at 2Base to end the inning when he attempted to move
up on the late throw home.
    The Twins added another pair in the B-6th. Morneau hit Oliver's first pitch of that frame
441-feet to the RField concourse for a homerun (#16). More Tiger miscues gave the Twins
their second run. Jason Kubel doubled to the LField warning track when Johnny Damon
misjudged going back on the ball and mistimed his leap. Michael Cuddyer singled to shallow
LField for Minny's third straight hit, Kubel stopped at third, but then Kubel came home when
Damon bobbled picking up Cuddyer's batted ball for an error.
    Oliver lasted 6-IP to give up 5-R/2-ER on 8-H & 2-W with 6-K, getting slugger Jim
Thome three times on swinging third strikes. Oliver (L, 0-2) threw 96 pitches/59 strikes.
    In his first outing since being brought back from 3A Toledo, Casey Fien (who spent
some time with the Tigers last year) pitched two scoreless relief innings of 1-hit ball,
retiring the first five and six of the seven Twins he faced.
    Twins starter Kevin Slowey left the game after 6-IP with a right ankle contusion.
Slowey (W, 8-5 ) yielded 1-R/1-ER on 4-H & 1-W with 4-K to stay unbeaten (5-0) in his
MLB career vs Detroit.
    Four Minnesota relievers combined to keep Detroit scoreless over the final 3-INN.
    Cuddyer was 2-for-3 and Morneau & Kubel were both 2-for-4 for Minnesota. No Tiger
had multiple basehits.

    DET       1-7-2, 6-LOB      (L) Oliver, 0-2
    MINN     5-9-1, 4-LOB     (W) Slowey, 8-5

QUOTEBOOK...

TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND:   "Oliver did fine [pitching], but we didn't execute today
defensively..."It doesn't matter who you play, you've got to beat good teams ...We
just didn't execute well enough today to win. They did better than us and won two of
three."

TIGERS SP ANDY OLIVER:   "I made a bad throw there on the bunt and it came back to bite me
...I threw a slider that hung over the middle of the plate [on Morneau's homerun]."

TIGERS LF JOHNNY DAMON:   "The fly ball that went over my head or the balls hit over Magglio last
night and the one that went to the right of [Brennan] Boesch. That's all part of learning a [new]
park...[Most] of us can and should be better. And I think every one of those guys would say the
same thing...The mix is definitely good here. So, we have a lot to look forward to. We've got a
chance to be very good."

TIGERS 3B BRANDON INGE:   "We're just not getting it done. It's not for a lack of focus or
effort. We police ourselves and come to play, but we just are not getting it done on the
road. I don't know why."

TWINS SP KEVIN SLOWEY:   "[Detroit] is a team that's a fastball-hitting team. Watching Nick
[Blackburn] throw last night, when he threw curveballs, they took them or it kind of kept
them off-balance just enough. To be able to see Nick throw well and use his curveball certainly
encouraged me to do the same."

TWINS 1B JUSTIN MORNEAU:   ""It's important obviously [to win 2-of-3 from Detroit]...I think we
know the guys in our own division...I think that gives the hitter an advantage the more at-bats
you have off the guy. We have some good rivalries. We get fired up to play Detroit...It's nice to
win at home and win series. We're obviously comfortable here. This is a place where we like to play."

EXTRA INNINGS:

    The Tigers were outscored 56-38 on the 9-game road swing.
    Struggling reliever Fu-Te Ni was optioned to 3A Toledo after Wednesday's game. The
LHP had a horrible June which raised his season record to 0-1 and a 6.65-ERA. There was
no corresponding roster move made. A call-up from the minors will fill Detroit's 25th spot
on Friday.
    Entering in the T-9th as a defensive replacement, Matt Tolbert couldn't handle a hard-
hit bouncer off Cabrera's bat and was charged with the first Twins error by a 3Bman this
year.
    Wednesday morning the Tigers announced the signing of two more 2010 draft choices
plus an undrafted free agent. RHPs Patrick Cooper of Bradley University (14th-Rd pick),
Jordan Pratt from the University of Arkansas (#16 choice) and Jeff Barfield from the
University of Florida (non-drafted) all agreed to terms.
    Following Thursday's off-day Detroit opens a 9-game, pre-All-Star break homestand by
hosting Seattle Friday night. Max Scherzer (4-6, 5.26) of the Tigers and Doug Fister (3-3, 2.81)
of the Mariners are the probable pitchers for the 3-game series opener.  

FARM REPORT:

    The Mud Hens lost to the Gwinnett 7-4 Wednesday night in Toledo for the Hens' sixth
consecutive defeat.
    Toledo took a 2-0/B-1st lead on a 2-out single by Brent Dlugach. The Mud Hens rebounded
from a 4-2 defecit to tie 4-all with a pair of B-7th runs when Max Leon led-off the frame with
an opposite field homerun (#2) down the RField line and Jeff Larish delivered a sac-fly for
the tying tally.  
    The Braves then scored three times in the T-8th off third Toledo pitcher Brendan Wise
(L, 3-2) with Matt Young's 2r1B breaking the brief tie.
    Former Tiger OFielder Josh Anderson (now back in Atlanta's farm system after splitting 2009
between Detroit and Kansas City) singled and scored in the winning rally, but only went 1-for-4
and is hitting a microscopic .138 this season for Gwinnett.
    Onetime New York Yankee reliever Scott Proctor suffered his fourth blown save of the season,
yet got credit for the win (2-2) when the G-Braves lit up Wise in the T-8th.  
    After a brief call-up to Detroit earlier this season, OFielder Casper Wells is in a deep slump for
the Mud Hens. Wells went 0-for-4 Wednesday to extend a 3-for-45 late June swoon.
    Dlugach struck-out for the 103rd time in 311-AB this season and leads the IL in whiffs, nine
more than the runner-up in that dubious category.
    LHP Daniel Schlereth pitched a perfect Hens relief inning with 1-K to drop his season ERA to
2.83 and is the prime candidate to replace Ni on Detroit's roster Friday.  
    The long Toledo slump has left Hens MGR Larry Parrish (the former Tiger skipper) stuck on
540 career Mud Hens wins, still tied for first all-time in franchise history with Cal Ermer (the
onetime Minnesota Twins MGR).
    Toledo is now 41-39 on the season after losing 8-of-9.
    Prior to Wednesday's game RHP Jay Sborz and OF/1B Jeff Frazier of the Mud Hens were
named to the International LGE's squad for the Triple-A All-Star game vs the PCL. Sborz
has 15-SV, tied for third in the IL. Frazier has a career-high 15-HR already this season and
his 27 doubles lead the IL.

COACH KURT

                                                                ###  

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