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The Twins’ Ron Gardenhire, left, argued with third base umpire Gary Darling after Alex Avila doubled and the ball appeared to hit a fan. The umpires ruled the go-ahead run could score.

Duane Burleson, Associated Press

DETROIT 6, TWINS 5 Up next: 6:05 tonight at Detroit • Comerica Park • TV: FSN (1500ESPN)

Twins endure more pain, no gain

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN
  • Star Tribune
  • May 31, 2011 - 7:02 AM

DETROIT -- The disabled list gets longer by the day, and anything else that can go wrong for the Twins usually does.

Murphy’s Law has been in full effect, even on Memorial Day.

The Twins placed Francisco Liriano on the 15-day disabled list Monday because of inflammation in his left shoulder and sent their leading hitter, Jason Kubel, back to the team hotel in a walking boot.

Kubel has a sprained left foot and will be re-evaluated Tuesday. He injured himself with a leap toward the right field wall in the sixth inning.

Two innings later, the Twins felt as if they got robbed by the umpires on the go-ahead hit by Alex Avila, and the Tigers held on for a 6-5 victory at Comerica Park.

"Frustrating, to say the least," said manager Ron Gardenhire, who drew his fourth ejection of the season, as his team fell to a major league-worst 17-35.

Liriano is the 11th Twin to land on the DL, and Kubel could make it 12, depending how he feels Tuesday.

"It felt funny when I jumped for the home run [by Victor Martinez]," Kubel said. "I felt stuff like pop, and when I landed, pain shot all over my foot."

X-rays taken at the ballpark showed no broken bones. Kubel, who is batting .310 with five homers and 30 RBI, was encouraged the foot wasn’t more swollen and hoped to return in a couple of days.

"We all know [his injury’s] not a good thing," Gardenhire said. "And just how bad it is, we’ll see a lot more [Tuesday]"

In Liriano’s case, the move was made retroactive to May 23, so he’s eligible to return June 7 in Cleveland. Anthony Swarzak will fill in again Thursday in Kansas City, but the Twins think Liriano will be ready to make that next start against the Indians.

"It’s nothing serious," Gardenhire said. "It’s getting better, but just not working out."

That comment also sums up the Twins’ play of late. They overcame an early 3-0 deficit and grabbed a 5-3 lead in the fifth inning before Martinez hit his two-run homer off Nick Blackburn.

Jim Hoey and Phil Dumatrait escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh, and Alex
Burnett recorded two quick outs in the eighth before Peralta reached on an infield hit.

Avila followed with his double down the third-base line. Some fans reached for it along the ground and appeared to miss it before it caromed off a fan in an orange shirt.

Third base umpire Gary Darling ruled fan interference on that orange-shirted fan, telling a pool reporter, "I had him reaching out" into the field of play. After huddling, the umpires ruled Peralta would have scored on the play, giving the Tigers a 6-5 lead.

Replays showed the play should have been ruled a ground-rule double, since the orange-shirted fan did not appear to reach toward the field until after the ball hit him. Burnett then struck out Ryan Raburn to end the inning, but the damage was done.

"It hit the fan in the orange and the kid right next to him and came back on the field," left fielder Delmon Young said. "So it was a dead ball [ground-rule double] right there, and I don’t think Peralta was even halfway to third base."

Said Gardenhire: "I know the ball was in the stands. I watched the ball hit a guy in the face in the stands. … I told them there’s no way that guy scores if we have a play on the ball."

Even on a day when his team played well, Gardenhire came away exasperated. It’s been that kind of year.

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