DETROIT – A punch to the stomach and a hook to the jaw is worse when it comes from someone that used to be on your side.
Ex-Twin Torii Hunter did in his former team Wednesday when he sparked the Tigers’ 7-1 comeback rout at Comerica Park with clutch hitting and smart baserunning. It came at the expense of Twins righthander Kevin Correia, who was in the middle of a marvelous outing when everything fell apart in the seventh inning and the Twins ahead 1-0.
After getting the first two outs of the inning, Correia got ahead 0-2 on Bryan Holaday before giving up a single to left.
“Two quick outs,” Correia said. “Nine-hole hitter up, 0-2 count. I made a bad pitch.”
Austin Jackson then singled to center to bring Hunter to the plate. He worked the count to 2-2 before lining a double to right-center to give Detroit a 2-1 lead. Correia intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera before being replaced by Caleb Thielbar to face Prince Fielder.
Thielbar struck Fielder out, but the ball got away from catcher Ryan Doumit. He chased down the ball but his throw was late to first.
Hunter was on second when the play began but noticed no one was covering home plate. The veteran turned for home, the Twins had no chance to throw him out and the Tigers led 3-1. Hunter crossed the plate pumping his fist as the announced crowd of 38,092 cheered.
“I watched the guy when I was growing up,” said Thielbar, from Randolph. “He made a great baserunning play.”
Thielbar was supposed to cover home plate and got caught watching the paint dry.
“It’s inexcusable,” Thielbar said. “That stuff is drilled into you in the minor leagues.”
Detroit added three runs in the eighth off reliever Michael Tonkin when Cabrera lined a bases-clearing double to left for RBI Nos. 121, 122 and 123.
It busted up a nice pitcher’s duel between Correia and Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez. Correia was masterful for six innings, shutting out Detroit on six hits, one walk and one strikeout. Sanchez held the Twins to one run over 6⅔ innings on two walks and eight swinging strikeouts. Correia began missing some spots in the seventh but his failure to put away Holaday — and Hunter — in the seventh turned the game around.
“You pitch well,” said Correia (8-10), “and you have nothing to show for it.”
Deduno feels good
Righthander Samuel Deduno, who admitted to having a sore shoulder following his start Sunday, threw in the bullpen Wednesday under the watchful eye of Twins trainers and pitching coach Rick Anderson.
Deduno said he felt fine and the field staff liked what they saw. So Deduno, barring a late development, will start Friday in Cleveland.
“We were all sitting around, waiting to see what would happen,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Deduno has a 7.02 ERA over his past three starts. Indications are righthander Anthony Swarzak will be the long man Friday, so the Twins still are deliberating on a starter for Saturday to replace Kyle Gibson, who was sent to Class AAA Rochester on Monday.
• Oswaldo Arcia, slowed by a sore left wrist, is expected to swing a bat Thursday. If he continues to experience soreness, he could land on the disabled list.
The Twins have only two healthy bench players, infielder Doug Bernier and first baseman Chris Colabello. Colabello was called up Tuesday when Joe Mauer went on the seven-day concussion disabled list.