Tigers blow chances with 10-4, 2-1 loss to Twins

By Larry Lage

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Sept. 23 2012 8:25 p.m. MDT

"They kept me rested this week, so maybe that's why I didn't have my normal zip," he said. "Now I'll be back on the regular program, so hopefully that will get things back to normal."

Cabrera helped the Tigers take a 2-0 lead with an RBI double and a run in the fourth inning, but their notoriously bad defense melted down in the sixth, leading to five Minnesota runs. Ben Revere led off with a fly to left that Andy Dirks dropped just short of the wall. By the time Dirks could locate the ball, Revere was at third with what was ruled a triple.

"I thought I'd be able to stop and make the catch, but the ball kept gaining ground," Dirks said. "I threw my glove up and I hoped I'd get it in the right area. I knew it hit off my glove, and then I hit the wall and didn't know where the ball was, so he gets a triple."

Mauer pulled the Twins within 2-1 with an infield single, and Josh Willingham moved him to third with a double. That brought Phil Coke into the game, and he got Morneau to fly to shallow left. Dirks, though, got a very late break and the ball dropped for a game-tying single.

Doumit walked to load the bases, and Trevor Plouffe made it 3-2 with a single on Brayan Villarreal's first pitch. The Twins then added a bizarre run when a third strike got away from catcher Gerald Laird.

Villarreal covered the plate, but stretched for a force out instead of tagging Morneau. He only realized his mistake when home-plate umpire Tom Hallion singled safe.

"That's something I've never seen in 49 years of baseball," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He saw the batter heading for first and thought it was a force play. He's probably not an expert on the rulebook, to be honest with you."

The fifth run of the inning was scored when Pedro Florimon beat out an inning-ending double play.

Minnesota broke the game open with a run in the seventh and four more in the eighth inning.

"We put together three great innings in a row and got ourselves a win," Gardenhire said. "At this point in the season, that's great to see."

Scott Diamond (12-8) allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings, and improved his career ERA against the Tigers to 3.07 in four starts. He struck out five.

NOTES: Scherzer's loss was his first since July 30. He is 10-2 in 16 starts since June 28. ... With the first game out of hand, Leyland took out stars Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Austin Jackson after the eighth inning. ... Greenberg had at least 40 homers and 40 doubles in the 1937 and 1940 seasons. ... Diamond has pitched at least six inning in 20 of 25 starts this season. ... Detroit's Justin Verlander (15-8) and Kansas City's Luke Hochevar (8-14) will pitch in Monday's series opener at Comerica Park.

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