Twins take two out of three from Tigers with 5-1 victory
MINNEAPOLIS -- Thanks to a solid start from Kevin Slowey and some timely hitting up and down the lineup, the Twins defeated the Tigers 5-1 on Wednesday, extending their lead in the American League Central to 1 1/2 games once again.
The Twins (43-35) improve to 25-14 at Target Field, and 6-3 against the Tigers.
The Tigers took the first lead when Miguel Cabrera doubled home Magglio Ordonez in the top of the fourth -- this came just moments after a faulty Target-Field fire alarm momentarily paused play.
In the fifth inning, Hudson put the Twins in front with a sacrifice fly that scored Nick Punto, and Delmon Young -- batting third in place of the resting Joe Mauer -- made it 3-1 with an RBI single that scored Drew Butera.
Morneau struck again in the bottom of the sixth, blasting the first pitch of the inning over the porch in right field for his 16th home run of the season. Two batters later, Jason Kubel scored from second to make it 5-1 after a fielding error by left-fielder Johnny Damon, who booted a base hit by Michael Cuddyer.
Slowey (8-5, 4.57), who left the game early after taking a line drive to the left ankle, pitched six solid innings, allowing just one earned run, four hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out four and threw 81 pitches.
Slowey is considered day-to-day with a contusion.
Jon Rauch pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation.
The Twins will open a four-game series at Target Field against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday evening. Carl Pavano (9-6, 3.33) is scheduled to face Jeff Niemann (6-2, 2.72) at 7:10 on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.