Twins Daily: Young's HR overshadowed by Thome's historic night
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Delmon Young's impressive performance in his first game against his old team turned out to be an afterthought on a night where Jim Thome's 600th home run propelled the Minnesota Twins to a 9-6 win over the Detroit Tigers.
It was only fitting that Young would belt a home run against the Twins in his first at-bat as a Tiger, but that feat was overshadowed by Thome, whose 600th career home run -- a three-run blast in the top of the seventh inning -- made the difference in a three-run ballgame.
Thome came into the game two home runs shy of the milestone, but a two-run blast in the top of the sixth inning gave him 599 for his career and put the Twins up 5-3 against right-hander Rick Porcello.
Thome's second homer turned a 6-5 nail-biter into a 9-5 cushion.
Twins starter Liriano gave up five earned runs on nine hits and a walk in six innings, striking out four and allowing two home runs -- a two-run blast to Victor Martinez in the third inning, and a solo blast by Young in the opening frame.
Porcello gave up six runs (four earned) on nine hits and a walk in six innings, striking out two.
Just hours after being traded to the Tigers, Young finished 2-for-4 with a home run and a single, and he was also hit by a pitch.
The Twins took a 6-3 lead with a three-run sixth, courtesy of Thome's first home run and a run-scoring triple by Ben Revere, but Liriano gave two runs back in the bottom of the frame when Martinez took him deep.
Likely needing more than six runs to pull off the victory, the Twins received a leadoff walk by Trevor Plouffe against left-hander Daniel Schlereth, and another walk shortly after by Justin Morneau, setting the table for Thome with two outs.
Thome didn't disappoint, launching a 2-1 curveball over the left-field fence.
1: Near-inside-the-park home runs by Revere, who roped a ball to the gap in right-center in the top of the sixth inning. Revere was gunned out at home after a collision with catcher Alex Avila.
4: Home runs for Young in 325 plate appearances for the Twins this season.
1: Ranging, sprinting catches made by Young in left field on Monday, robbing Plouffe of an extra-base hit in the fifth inning.
3,670: Days since the last time the Tigers and Twins pulled off a trade with each other -- Mark Redman for Todd Jones on July 28, 2001.
21: Stolen bases for Revere this season.
• OF Michael Cuddyer missed his third straight game with a sore neck. His status remains day-to-day.
On paper, Tuesday's match-up (6:05 p.m., 1500 ESPN) between right-hander Nick Blackburn (7-9, 4.36) and right-hander Justin Verlander (17-5, 2.35) looks like a pretty big mismatch -- and maybe it is.
Blackburn has allowed at least four earned runs in six of his last nine starts, including a recent stretch where he walked 11 batters in only 9 2/3 innings over two starts as July turned to August. Blackburn righted things against Boston last week, however, allowing only one run (zero earned) on six hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings. In one start against the Tigers this year, Blackburn allowed five earned runs on seven hits back on May 30 -- just a couple days before the Twins began their June tear.
Barring a short outing, Verlander will go over the 200 innings mark in his start Tuesday, which comes as no surprise considering he has pitched at least seven innings in 20 of his 26 starts, and at least eight innings in 13 starts. Verlander is also likely to move past 200 strikeouts on Tuesday, as he currently sits at 196 and hasn't struck out fewer than six in a game since June 19.
• Wednesday: @ Tigers, 6:05 p.m. RHP Carl Pavano (6-9, 4.55) vs. RHP Brad Penny (8-9, 4.99)
• Thursday: vs. Yankees, 7:10 p.m. LHP Brian Duensing (8-11, 4.53) vs. LHP C.C. Sabathia (16-7, 2.93)
• Wednesday: vs. Yankees, 7:10 p.m. RHP Kevin Slowey (0-0, 4.91) vs. RHP Freddy Garcia (10-7, 3.16)