Hardly party Central

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 22, 2011 - 12:36 AM

The Twins were no match for Tigers ace Justin Verlander as their losing streak to Detroit stretched to 10 games.

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The Twins entered Thursday night knowing they had 65 regular-season games remaining, with 13 of them -- or 20 percent -- coming against the Tigers.

The teams had played five games this year, and Detroit had won them all, without using Justin Verlander once.

Verlander has been remarkable this season, refining his arsenal to become one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball.

He put it all on display at Target Field in the opener of a four-game series, as the Tigers defeated the Twins 6-2.

Verlander (13-5) allowed one run on five hits over eight innings, with no walks and nine strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 2.24 and raising his American League-leading strikeout total to 162.

"He made it look really easy tonight," said Carl Pavano (6-7), who kept the Tigers scoreless for the first three innings but left trailing 5-1 after the sixth.

The sequence that should scare the Twins the most came in the second inning, after Michael Cuddyer hit a leadoff triple.

Suddenly for Verlander, it was no more Mr. Nice Guy.

To that point, Verlander had thrown 15 pitches, none of them faster than 94 miles per hour.

Jim Thome stepped in, and Verlander unleashed seven fastballs that registered these readings on the radar gun: 95, 97, 97, 97, 97, 97, 98. Thome fouled off one pitch but swung and missed at three others.

"[Verlander] gives you two different looks," Twins left fielder Delmon Young said. "We've seen him throw 92-93 with no one on base. And then, with runners in scoring position, he's knocking doors down, trying to hit 100."

Danny Valencia faced two fastballs, both at 97 mph, before Verlander unleashed his knee- buckling, 81-mph curveball. Valencia checked his swing on the second one, but home plate umpire Adrian Johnson called him out. Young grounded to second base, ending the inning.

Verlander always has had that ability, but early in his career, he was a max-effort pitcher the whole game.

"That's something I've been wary of this year, trying not to go to that too early," Verlander said. "I made a very conscious effort after that [second inning] to slow myself down and get back in a rhythm."

The Twins had only one baserunner the next three innings. They didn't score until the sixth. By then, Verlander had a 5-0 lead, and he turned it into his eighth career victory against the Twins in 15 decisions.

"We've had some good ones against him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "So it's not like we feel like we're beat before we start the game, but you know you have to be pretty good to beat him. The guy's throwing as good as he's ever thrown."

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NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
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Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
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Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
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Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
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(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
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Western Ky 59
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Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
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UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 4th Qtr 6:49
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 4th Qtr 5:10
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 4th Qtr 2:00
Northwestern 24
Marshall 35 4th Qtr 6:25
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 4th Qtr 8:22
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 4th Qtr 9:55
(6) Auburn 38
(16) Clemson 21 2nd Qtr 7:28
(12) Georgia 14
Liberty 7 2nd Qtr 14:41
(23) North Carolina 14
Ohio U 7 2nd Qtr 10:47
Kent State 7
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(4) Oklahoma
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Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
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(15) USC
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(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
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(25) Washington 9:30 PM
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Tennessee
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(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 2nd Half 5:00
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
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Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
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Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
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Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
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