Fister, Benoit silence Twins' bats
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Doug Fister held Minnesota hitless until the sixth inning and Torii Hunter connected for his 300th career home run, leading the Detroit Tigers over the Twins 5-2 Sunday.
Fister (6-4) didn’t allow a baserunner until walking Ryan Doumit with two outs in the fourth inning, then lost his no-hit bid when Brian Dozier led off the sixth with a homer.
Fister allowed two runs and two hits — both to Dozier — in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out seven, walked two and won for the first time in his last six starts.
Joaquin Benoit pitched the final 1 1-3 innings, earning his fourth save.
Hunter and Austin Jackson both hit two-run homers for Detroit.
P.J. Walters (2-2) gave up four runs on nine hits and three walks in 5 1-3 innings.
Minnesota tried to rally with two outs in the eighth as Dozier doubled and Pedro Florimon walked to chase Fister after 110 pitches. Clete Thomas followed with an RBI single off Benoit, but Joe Mauer flied out to strand a pair of runners.
Benoit pitched a perfect ninth. Regular Tigers closer Jose Valverde warmed up alongside Benoit in the eighth, though he pitched in a non-save situation on Friday and blew his last save opportunity Wednesday at Kansas City.
Detroit jumped ahead early when Jackson led off with a single and Hunter followed with his first home runs since May 26, also against Minnesota.
The former Twins outfielder hit 192 of his career homers during his nine seasons with Minnesota. Hunter added an RBI double in the eighth.
Jackson’s fourth-inning homer was his first since April 28, giving him multiple hits in back-to-back games for the first time since mid-April. The Detroit center fielder returned to the lineup Friday after missing more than a month with a strained left hamstring.
Detroit catcher Alex Avila snapped an 0-for-19 skid with a second-inning double and singled in his next at-bat, marking just his third extra-base hit and second multi-hit game since May 10. Avila left the game in the ninth inning after being hit in the left hand by a pitch from Brian Duensing.
NOTES: Twins OF Josh Willingham was out of the lineup after receiving a cortisone shot in his balky left knee after Saturday’s game. He expects to return to the lineup on Tuesday. ... Tigers manager Jim Leyland reiterated his concern with Anibal Sanchez’s reduced velocity on his return from shoulder tightness on Saturday following an 11-day layoff. “It just didn’t look right,” Leyland said Sunday. Sanchez said he felt fine after the game. ... Minnesota has an off-day Monday before hosting a three-game series against the White Sox. Mike Pelfrey (3-6, 6.12 ERA) will start Tuesday for the Twins. Pelfrey is 0-3 in his last seven starts. Dylan Axelrod (3-4, 4.26) will counter for Chicago, looking to rebound from allowing a season high-tying six earned runs to Toronto in his last outing. . Detroit returns home to begin a series Monday against Baltimore. The Tigers will send Max Scherzer (9-0, 3.19) to the mound. Scherzer gave up three earned runs and struck out 10 Orioles in a no-decision at Baltimore on May 31. Jason Hammel (7-4, 5.24) will start for the Orioles. Hammel allowed served up a season-high three homers and five runs in a season-low three innings vs. Detroit on June 1.
Plouffe’s return sparks Twins to win over Tigers
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Trevor Plouffe had three hits, including a two-run homer, in his return to the Twins lineup, and Sam Deduno held Detroit in check over seven innings in Minnesota’s 6-3 victory over the Tigers on Saturday night.
Plouffe, back after missing 22 games because of a concussion and left calf strain, was a triple shy of the cycle. He drove in three runs in support of Deduno, who has allowed only five earned runs in his last five starts.
Deduno (3-1) gave up two runs and seven hits to win his third straight decision since being recalled in May. Glen Perkins added his 16th save in 18 chances.
Plouffe provided long-awaited production from third base for Minnesota. Jamey Carroll and Eduardo Escobar had split time at third during Plouffe’s absence and went 10 for 89 (.112) with no home runs.