Exercise in mediocrity

A thumping by the Tigers dropped the Twins to 5-5 in what was viewed as a critical 12-game homestand.

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They saw it with Cleveland. And now they are seeing it with Detroit.

The Twins are realizing just how hard it's going to be to do battle with the big boys of the AL Central. Their faces were splashed with cold water again on Friday as the Tigers, behind righthander Max Scherzer and shortstop Jhonny Peralta, smoked them 8-2.

The Twins had to rally to win the final two games of their four-game series against Cleveland earlier this week. Now they'll have to do the same against Detroit, who has moved to a 1 1/2-game lead over the Indians in the division.

"It's going to be real tough," said Twins lefthander Brian Duensing, who took the loss and fell to 7-8. "They are good teams and they are on top for a reason. It's unfortunate that we've had to dig ourselves out of a humongous hole."

Scherzer improved to 11-5 as Detroit knocked the Twins seven games back in the division, damaging their hopes of narrowing their deficit.

Despite fielding their strongest lineup in over a month -- thanks to the return of outfielder Jason Kubel from the disabled list -- the Twins managed one run on four hits through the first six innings.

Ten games into a crucial 12-game homestand, the Twins are 5-5.

Going back to June 22 -- when the Twins lost the first of six consecutive games -- they are 14-14 since then. So the Twins' season has gone like this: A horrible start (17-37) followed by a brief run of dominance (15-2) followed by a run of mediocrity.

Other teams in the division tailed off some in recent weeks. But the Tigers look ready to surge.

The Twins clubhouse was mostly empty and largely silent after Friday's loss.

"By no means does anyone think we are out of it," Duensing said, "We go on a little bit of a tear here, we are right back in it. I think every single one of us knows that."

The Tigers look refreshed, having won the first two games of this four-game series while extending their winning streak over the Twins to a whopping 11 games. If the Twins can't beat the Tigers, how do they expect to win the division?

Duensing struck out five batters over the first two innings but two of his pitches were hit out of the park. Ryan Raburn homered in the first inning and Peralta homered in the second to give Detroit a 2-0 lead. The Twins got an RBI groundout by Danny Valencia in the bottom of the second to cut the deficit to 2-1, but Peralta added a two-run single in the third to make it 4-1. Duensing was knocked out in the fifth.

Peralta continues to feast at Target Field. He had four RBI through his first four at-bats and ran his career numbers at the Twins' new ballpark to .432 with five homers and 15 RBI.

In 12 games at Target Field, Peralta has five home runs.

"Right now," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, "[Peralta] is probably as locked in as we have seen him."

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@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)


San Francisco 4 Top 6th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 3rd Prd 5:53
Detroit 0
Montreal 0 2nd Prd 9:49
Chicago 0
Arizona 1 2nd Prd
Edmonton 1
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
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