MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - All these losses to the Detroit Tigers are making it awfully difficult for the Minnesota Twins to make up any ground in the AL Central.
Jhonny Peralta finished a triple shy of the cycle and had four RBIs to lift Detroit to an 8-2 victory Friday night, the Twins' 11th straight loss to their division rivals.
``It's one of those deals. Last year we had their number, this year they got ours,' rookie outfielder Ben Revere said. ``Hopefully, when it really comes down to it hopefully we get the numbers. That's baseball.'
That's happened plenty of times in the past, but the Tigers aren't looking like the second-half slumpers they have been in this series.
Max Scherzer (11-5) gave up one run and four hits in seven innings and Ryan Raburn also homered for the Tigers, who picked up a game on second-place Cleveland and pushed the Twins seven games back in the division.
Brian Duensing (7-8) was rocked for seven runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings for the Twins, who have dropped the first two games in a home series they were hoping to use to pick up some ground on the division leaders.
Jim Thome had two hits and an RBI for Minnesota.
``It's the same situation as the Cleveland series where we've put ourselves down two games to none in this series,' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``We've got to figure out a way to get one tomorrow and go from there.'
It was ugly from the start Friday night.
Peralta hit a solo homer in the second inning, a two-run single in the third and an RBI-double in the fifth that made it 7-1 and chased Duensing. The lefty had seven strikeouts, including five in the first two innings. But he also gave up a solo shot to Raburn in the first inning.
Scherzer, who has struggled against the Twins early in his career, struck out four and gave up his only run on a groundout from Danny Valencia in the second inning. He allowed two hits and a walk over his final five innings.
Maybe the Tigers' fortunes are changing right along with Scherzer's. They have collapsed in the second half of the season over the last few years, and the Twins have always been there to take advantage of those stumbles and surge to another division title.
The Tigers are 7-0 against the Twins this year and haven't lost to Minnesota since Sept. 1.
``We know that we can win this division,' Scherzer said. ``We know that we're good. We know we've got the talent. We just feel like if we go out there and compete every day and keep these win streaks going, we're going to be the team on top.'
Tigers manager Jim Leyland certainly wasn't ready to do any gloating just yet. He's seen the Twins come back from bigger deficits to catch them before.
``They really haven't had their full complement of players for some of those games,' Leyland said. ``That's got something to do with it, no question.'
The Twins are in the middle of a 12-game homestand that they hoped would thrust them right back into the thick of the Central race. After taking three of four from the Royals, they split with the Indians and now can do no better than a split against Detroit.
``Everybody is staying up,' Duensing said. ``By no means are we out of it. If we go on a tear, we're right back in it.'
Duensing has been terrible in his two starts against the Tigers this season, giving up 13 runs and 18 hits in 9 1-3 innings, good for a 12.54 ERA. Carlos Guillen, Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez took him deep into the count through the first three innings, forcing him to throw 69 pitches on a hot summer night.
``It was one of those days where I just didn't have it,' Duensing said.
Jason Kubel had a single and two walks in his first game for the Twins since May 30.
NOTES: Pitch count? What pitch count? One night after Justin Verlander threw 126 pitches in a win over the Twins, Scherzer threw 120. ... The Twins said they planned to activate RHP Scott Baker (elbow strain) from the DL in time to start Saturday against the Tigers. Baker has missed two starts because of the injury. INF Luke Hughes was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to make room ... The Twins are 8-35 when their opponent scores first.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved