Twins beat Tigers to put a limit on the losing

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 2, 2013 - 12:12 AM

The Twins, unlike last year, aren’t folding for an entire series after dropping a game or two to playoff-caliber opponents. It’s progress of a sort.

view larger photos


– There were a lot of ways the Twins could have lost Wednesday. They were facing Anibal Sanchez, a righthander who struck out 17 batters in his last start. They were pitching to Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, who had three home runs and seven RBI between them in the first two games of the series. And they were trying to fend off a three-game sweep, something the 2012 Twins had little success doing.

Yet there were the Twins’ first five batters of the game, each taking Sanchez to 3-and-2 and running up his pitch count. And there was Scott Diamond, holding the Tigers without a hit until the fifth inning, and limiting their two sluggers to only one hit. And there were the Twins, stomping out another losing streak before it could get out of control with a 6-2 victory at Comerica Park.

Perhaps they also offered some evidence that they won’t be the soft targets for pennant contenders that last year’s team was, and that losing won’t be contagious, wiping out entire weeks.

“We didn’t want the sweep at all — it’s definitely something I focused on,” said Diamond (2-2) after his strongest start of the year, a six-inning, four-hit effort. “Whether I put a little more pressure on myself to do it, that’s just the way I’ve always been. I just try to be the stopper.”

The Twins haven’t had one of those in awhile, but Diamond and newcomer Kevin Correia provide them with hope that they can avoid those mood-killing, morale-sucking, bottomless skids that so marked their past two seasons. For the second consecutive series, the Twins lost a couple of games to an elite team, but refused to get swept away. Last year, however, the Twins dropped the first two games of a three-game series 13 times, then went 2-11 in games trying to avoid the sweep.

This game definitely never felt hopeless like that, and Diamond said he’s noticed a better vibe since the team left training camp.

“The atmosphere in the clubhouse is a lot different than it was last year, and because of that, we’re going to be able to prevent losing streaks,” the lefthander said. “It actually feels more positive. Even when we lose a couple of games — like that Texas series [last weekend] — everybody stayed really positive, and we were really still pulling for each other. Nobody started swinging for home runs, nobody was trying to strike out every batter. We’re relying on what’s going to make us win — our defense and moving runners.”

They had both Wednesday, with Diamond himself making a couple of nice stops and Jamey Carroll turning a hot smash to third into a ninth-inning double play. Meanwhile, the Twins went 3-for-8 with runners in scoring position, got hits from seven spots in the batting order and a cannon-shot home run by Chris Parmelee, created a couple of timely insurance runs when Detroit closed within a run and improved to 7-6 against last year’s playoff teams.

No, they’re not ready to join baseball’s elite yet, but consider this: The Twins were 19-32 against those playoff teams a year ago, and were swept four times.

After 195 losses over two seasons, a disaster-averse .500 team is a welcome sight.

“We kind of nitpick at them a little bit,” manager Ron Gardenhire said, but it’s working so far. The Twins haven’t really hit yet — they’re last or next-to-last among American League teams in runs, hits, home runs and stolen bases — and two of the pitchers they are counting on to stabilize the rotation haven’t done it yet, either.

Yet the Twins, entering their second month of the season, continue to cling to a .500 record, with confidence that their success will rise with the temperature. They’re 12-12? Last year, it was 6-18.

“We’ve got enough firepower in here, both from an offensive and pitching standpoint, to curb those long losing streaks,” catcher Ryan Doumit said. “We don’t go into panic mode after a two-game slide. We won’t accept it. We won’t tolerate it.”


Phil Miller •


  • related content

  • TwinsCentric: Time to put Pelf on the shelf

    Tuesday April 30, 2013

    Mike Pelfrey needs more time to return to form after Tommy John surgery.

  • Tigers-Twins scorecard

    Wednesday May 1, 2013

    SCORECARDFirst inningTwins: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez issued a two-out walk to Josh Willingham. Justin Morneau doubled to left, scoring Willingham....

  • Doumit gets green light to steal first base since 2010

    Thursday May 2, 2013

    Wednesday’s “go” sign was the first he’s gotten in two seasons as a Twin

  • Postgame: Twins made Sanchez work

    Wednesday May 1, 2013

    A 41-pitch first inning forced Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez to leave after six innings, and 115 pitches

  • Wednesday's Twins-Detroit game recap

    Wednesday May 1, 2013

    GAME RECAPImpact playerScott Diamond, TwinsThe lefthander had his most effective outing of the season to date, limiting a dangerous Tigers...

  • Minnesota Twins' Justin Morneau scores as Detroit Tigers catcher Braya...

  • Scott Diamond didn’t give up a hit until the fifth inning in his best start of the season.

  • The Twins avoided being swept by the Tigers with some patient batting during a 6-2 victory Wednesday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
8:10 PM ET123456789RHE
ArizonaJ. Collmenter (10-8)000
MinnesotaR. Nolasco (5-11)000
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box


Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
Baltimore - W. Chen 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Kansas City - D. Duffy 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
Seattle - J. Paxton 6:07 PM
Toronto - J. Happ
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 6:08 PM
Detroit - K. Lobstein
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Houston - N. Tropeano 7:05 PM
Texas - D. Holland
St. Louis - A. Wainwright 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
Arizona - J. Collmenter 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
LA Angels - C. Wilson 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
San Francisco - J. Peavy 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Colorado - T. Matzek 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
San Francisco 14 FINAL
Arizona 23
Denver 20 FINAL
Seattle 26
Kansas City 34 FINAL
Miami 15
Pittsburgh 37 FINAL
Carolina 19
Chicago 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Ottawa 12:30 PM
NY Islanders
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto 6:00 PM
Washington 6:00 PM
Minnesota 7:00 PM
St. Louis 7:30 PM
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Colorado 9:00 PM
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Arizona 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question