The Tigers topped the Twins 4-2 tonight to complete a three-game sweep of their most feared opponent most years. The Tigers have won all five games versus Minnesota this year and nine in a row going back to last year. Nine consecutive wins versus the Twins. Imagine that.
Rick Porcello pitched a solid game allowing just two runs in 6 2/3 innings. Both runs came on a homer by Drew Butera, who came into the game batting .126. The bullpen which has looked better as of late closed it out as Al Alburquerque, Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde combined for 2 2/3 shutout innings.
The Tigers took an early 1-0 lead when Alex Avila singled in a run in the second. Miguel Cabrera then crushed a three-run shot to left to make it 4-0 in the third.
Jim Leyland continued to juggle the line-up benching the slumping Austin Jackson and Ryan Raburn in favor of Donald Kelly and Ramon Santiago versus the the right-handed Scott Baker. The Raburn to full-time second baseman plan looks to be in jeopardy already. It did make sense to have the superior fielding Santiago behind the ground ball machine Porcello though.
The win will likely keep the Tigers five games behind the first-place Indians, who lead the Blue Jays 13-7 in the eighth inning. Next up is a big series at Chicago versus the third-place White Sox.