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Updated: May 16th, 2012 10:04pm
Twins offense explodes, rescuing Nick Blackburn against sloppy Tigers

Twins offense explodes, rescuing Nick Blackburn against sloppy Tigers

by The Associated Press
SportsWire Daily

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DETROIT -- Jamey Carroll hit a two-run double in the sixth inning to give the Minnesota Twins the lead, and they outlasted the sloppy Detroit Tigers 11-7 on Wednesday night.

The skinny

Detroit made four errors in the first three innings -- one from each infield position -- and couldn't break through against a Twins bullpen that was pressed into extended action.

Brian Dozier hit a three-run homer in the second, and Trevor Plouffe's two-run shot in the ninth made it 11-7.

Alex Burnett (1-0) got the win in relief after Twins starter Nick Blackburn lasted only two innings.

"It was great to win the game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's what it's all about, is finding a way to win games. We've talked about that over and over."

In a sign of things to come, Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder dropped a routine throw with one out in the first. Joe Mauer followed with an RBI double, and shortstop Ramon Santiago's throw home was wild for another error.

Josh Willingham's double made it 2-0.

"I don't think anyone is pressing. That's what people always say when you are losing, but we're playing the same," Fielder said. "We just made errors."

It was 2-1 in the second when second baseman Ryan Raburn's two-out error kept a Twins rally alive. Dozier, the next batter, made it 5-1 with a homer to left.

Detroit came back immediately, scoring five runs in the bottom of the inning. Raburn drew a one-out walk, and the next five hitters -- Brennan Boesch, Santiago, Jackson, Andy Dirks and Miguel Cabrera -- all hit singles. Fielder's second sacrifice fly of the game gave the Tigers a 6-5 lead.

Blackburn was pulled at the end of the inning, having allowed six runs and six hits.

Ryan Doumit's RBI single in the third tied the game at 6, and Cabrera-the third baseman-made Detroit's fourth error of the game later that inning. The Tigers became the first team since the New York Yankees in 2009 to have errors from all four infield spots in a game, according to STATS, LLC.

Turning points

Jeff Gray replaced Blackburn and retired the first six batters he faced on only 14 pitches, but Cabrera's RBI double to deep center made it 7-6 in the fifth.

Carroll came up with men on first and second in the sixth. His double off Duane Below (2-1) scored both runners.

Down 9-7 in the seventh, the Tigers put men on second and third with one out. Alex Avila and Raburn struck out to end the threat.

Numbers game

• 1: Hit, a double, for 1B Justin Morneau in five at-bats. It was his first game back from the disabled list because of a sore left wrist.

• 5: Wins for the Twins in their last 23 meetings against the Tigers.

Health report

• Doumit was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a calf injury. OF Ben Revere was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take his place.

• Twins CF Denard Span (right hamstring) was initially in the starting lineup but was scratched about an hour before the game.

• Blackburn had a thigh issue, Gardenhire said.

• Closer Matt Capps also has a sore thigh.

On deck

• Thursday: @ Tigers, 12:05 p.m. Twins RHP P.J. Walters (0-1, 3.00 ERA) vs. Tigers DHP Doug Fister (0-1, 0.54).
• Friday: @ Brewers, 7:10 p.m. Twins LHP Scott Diamond (2-0, 0.00) vs. Brewers RHP Marco Estrada (0-2, 4.20).
• Saturday: @ Brewers, 3:10 p.m. Twins RHP Carl Pavano (2-3, 5.14) vs. Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo (2-4, 5.04).

© The Associated Press