Twins beat Tigers, start 8th straight series with victory
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Right-hander Scott Baker did his part by striking out six over seven innings for the Twins (17-9), who got three more hits -- including two doubles -- from catcher Wilson Ramos in his second major-league game.
Despite the absence of reigning American League MVP Joe Mauer, who continues to nurse a deep bone bruise in his left heel, the Twins now have won the first game of eight consecutive series.
They jumped all over Tigers starter Max Scherzer in the first inning on Monday. Orlando Hudson extended his hit streak to 10 games with a one-out single, Justin Morneau drew a walk and Jim Thome's single drove in Hudson before Cuddyer launched a hanging breaking ball an estimated 411 feet to left-center field to make it 4-0.
The Twins added three more runs in the second when Denard Span tripled into the right-field corner to score two and then came home on Hudson's groundout.
Detroit (16-10) pulled within 7-3 before the Twins chased Scherzer in the fifth after two walks and a bloop RBI single by J.J. Hardy. Reliever Brad Thomas came on, Ramos promptly doubled into the right-field corner to score anther run and Nick Punto's sacrifice fly drove in Hardy to make it 10-3.
Austin Jackson's ninth-inning triple off reliever Alex Burnett scored Ramon Santiago, but that was it for Detroit.
Right-hander Nick Blackburn (1-1, 6.85 ERA) makes his return to the rotation in the series' second game at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday against lefty Dontrelle Willis (1-1, 3.75).