Twins earn first sweep of season with 5-4 victory over Detroit
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With the victory, the Twins improve to 19-9 and move 3 1/2 games ahead of the Tigers in the American League Central.
The Twins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, courtesy of an RBI double by Justin Morneau and an RBI groundout by Michael Cuddyer. With those two runs, the Twins became the first team since the 1971 Yankees to score at least two runs in the first inning of six consecutive games.
Starting pitcher Kevin Slowey (4-2) labored through 5 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on seen hits and two walks while striking out three. All three runs came off solo home runs -- one by C Mike Avila, and two by 1B Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera's second home run -- an opposite-field shot off the LCD board in right -- temporarily cut the Twins' lead to 3-2 in the top of the fourth inning, but Tigers' starting pitcher Rick Porcello (2-3) gave two runs back in the home half when a dropped fly ball by right fielder Brennan Boesch off the bat of Nick Punto scored Alexi Casilla. Denard Span followed up with an RBI single to put the Twins ahead 5-2.
Span reached base four times in five plate appearances, raising his batting average to .268 and his on base percentage to .381.
Jon Rauch gave up a lead-off home run to Avila, his second of the game, to start the ninth inning, but he settled down to tally his eighth save of the season.
The Twins welcome the Baltimore Orioles to town on Thursday for a four-game series. RHP Carl Pavano (3-2, 3.73 ERA) is scheduled to face RHP Brad Bergeson (1-2, 10.57 ERA).