DETROIT (AP) - Jim Leyland mentioned before Wednesday night's game that although the Detroit Tigers were struggling, they weren't playing sloppy baseball.
Then the veteran manager watched his team make four errors in the first three innings.
``I probably jinxed us when we said we weren't kicking the ball around, because we did that tonight,' Leyland said.
Jamey Carroll hit a two-run double in the sixth inning to give Minnesota the lead, and the Twins outlasted the Tigers 11-7 on Wednesday night. Detroit had an error from every infield position and couldn't break through against a Minnesota bullpen that was pressed into extended action.
The Tigers led 7-6 when Carroll came up with men on first and second in the sixth. His double off Duane Below (2-1) scored both runners.
Brian Dozier hit a three-run homer for Minnesota in the second, and Trevor Plouffe's two-run shot in the ninth made it 11-7.
``You score seven runs, you have to win the game,' Leyland said. ``If you don't, you have problems.'
Minnesota's Justin Morneau went 1 for 5 with a double in his first game back after being on the disabled list with a sore left wrist.
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.'
Detroit is 9-16 since a 9-3 start and is now dealing with injuries to closer Jose Valverde (strained lower back) and center fielder Austin Jackson (mild abdominal strain). Both are day to day. Jackson left Wednesday's game after flying out in the fourth inning.
In a sign of things to come, 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 Minnesota 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.
Detroit starter Rick Porcello allowed six runs - two earned - and six hits in four innings.
``This one hurts, because the guys did such a great job of battling back with the six runs, and I couldn't hold it. We're a much better team than we showed today, and I'm a much better pitcher than I showed today,' Porcello said. ``I think I got a little antsy with guys on base, and I was rushing things. You want to make the perfect pitch to get out of the inning, and you slip back into bad habits. I can't do that.'
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.
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.
NOTES: Minnesota OF Denard Span (right hamstring) was initially in the starting lineup but was scratched about an hour before the game. ... The Twins beat the Tigers for the fifth time in their last 23 meetings. ... Detroit optioned INF Danny Worth to Triple-A Toledo and are expected to recall RHP Brayan Villarreal. ... Detroit's Doug Fister (0-1) faces Minnesota's P.J. Walters (0-1) on Thursday.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved