DETROIT – Mike Pelfrey kept a productive Tigers offense in check. Justin Morneau swung a lethal bat. Glen Perkins won a duel with magnificent Miguel Cabrera, striking him out to end the game.
The Twins’ 6-3 victory over the Tigers on Tuesday night was one of their most satisfying games of the season — except for one thing.
Joe Mauer, the Twins’ All-Star catcher, landed on the seven-day concussion disabled list after a test confirmed his symptoms. Mauer caught Monday in a loss to the Mets and took a few foul tips off his facemask, including one — off the bat of Ike Davis — that jarred him.
Mauer showed no warning signs while flying to Detroit after the Mets game. He prepared for Tuesday’s game as he normally does. He took grounders at first base and began shagging balls in the outfield when he approached trainer Dave Pruemer and told him he was experiencing dizziness.
He was scratched from the starting lineup as he underwent an examination.
“I saw him taking ground balls and he said he felt like he was out of it,” Twins first baseman Justin Morneau said. “He missed a couple ground balls, and he’s usually pretty solid over there. I couldn’t tell if they were taking bad hops but it’s not something you usually see from him. I think that’s when he knew something wasn’t quite right.”
Morneau, who battled with a concussion in 2010 and lingering symptoms in 2011, later told Mauer: “Don’t do anything stupid because we need you in the long term.”
The Twins recalled Chris Colabello from Class AAA Rochester to take Mauer’s spot on the roster. Mauer, who left before the clubhouse was opened to reporters, will remain at the team hotel Wednesday and come to the park Thursday for tests. Mauer must show improvement or he will remain in Detroit.
“If he feels good enough and the doctors think he’s fine, he’ll fly back to Minnesota on Thursday,” said Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony.
Mauer is the fourth Twins player to land on the concussion DL this year, joining Ryan Doumit, Trevor Plouffe and Wilkin Ramirez.
The Twins didn’t miss Mauer and his .324 batting average Tuesday as they knocked out Tigers starter Rick Porcello in the fifth inning. Morneau hit a two-run homer in the fourth to open the scoring, then Plouffe added an RBI double to make it 3-0.
It was 3-1 in the fifth when Tigers manager Jim Leyland brought lefthander Phil Coke in to face Morneau with the bases loaded, and he hit Coke’s first pitch for a two-run double. Coke intentionally walked the next batter before being removed — then sent to Class AAA Toledo after the game.
Morneau finished 4-for-5 with four RBI. Pelfrey, throwing as easy as he has all season, held Detroit to three runs over 6⅔ innings — his second-longest stint of the season — to win for the first time since July 6.
Perkins came in to pitch the ninth and ended up facing Cabrera with two on and two out. But Perkins struck Cabrera out swinging to earn his 29th save as an announced crowd of 37,964 groaned.
“This is a huge team win,” Pelfrey said, as the Twins stopped a four-game losing streak. “Hopefully we can keep it going.”