Diamond Strong As Twins Top Tigers 6-2
DETROIT (AP) — Scott Diamond pitched six solid innings, and the Minnesota Twins got to Anibal Sanchez early in a 6-2 win over Detroit on Wednesday that snapped the Tigers’ five-game winning streak.
Sanchez (3-2) was coming off a 17-strikeout performance against Atlanta, and he fanned five in the first two innings against the Twins — but Minnesota scored two runs in the first and another in the second. Diamond (2-2) didn’t allow a hit until Jhonny Peralta’s single in the fifth.
The Tigers fought back after trailing 3-0, but reliever Bruce Rondon allowed two more runs in the seventh to make it 5-2. Chris Parmelee hit a solo homer in the eighth.
Diamond allowed two runs and four hits and was pulled after 88 pitches.
Closer Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for Minnesota in a non-save situation. He allowed singles by Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder with nobody out, but Victor Martinez hit into a double play, helping Perkins out of the jam.
Sanchez allowed three runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out nine and walked two. Reliever Jose Ortega struck out two in the ninth, giving the Detroit staff 11 strikeouts for the game. It was the sixth consecutive game for the Tigers with at least 10 strikeouts — the longest streak by an American League team since at least 1921.
Sanchez struck out the first two hitters he faced, but his command was poor early on. He walked Josh Willingham and allowed an RBI double by Justin Morneau. After a walk by Ryan Doumit, Parmelee hit a single to left. Morneau tried to score from second, and although Matt Tuiasosopo’s throw home was a good one, catcher Brayan Pena couldn’t hold onto the ball while trying to make a quick tag.
Sanchez threw 41 pitches in the first inning. Minnesota struck out three times in the second but took a 3-0 lead on Jamey Carroll’s RBI double. Sanchez only pitched eight innings in the game against the Braves, so after two innings Wednesday, he had 22 strikeouts in his last 10.
The right-hander’s control came around eventually, and he retired his last 11 hitters.
But Diamond didn’t give up the lead. A line drive by Tuiasosopo in the second appeared to hit him in the right leg, but the left-hander recovered in time to make the play.
Diamond missed the start of the season after elbow surgery in December, but he’s gone at least six innings in three of his four starts. Torii Hunter hit an RBI single in the sixth to get Detroit on the scoreboard, and Cabrera followed with an RBI double, but Diamond retired Fielder and Martinez on groundouts to end the inning.
Aaron Hicks led off the seventh for the Twins with a triple to the right-field corner off a 101-mph fastball from Rondon. With the infield in, Pedro Florimon slapped a single up the middle to put Minnesota up 4-2.
Rondon walked two hitters to load the bases before being taken out. Darin Downs allowed an RBI single by Morneau before getting Doumit to ground into a double play to end the threat.
Parmelee’s homer made it 6-2 the following inning.
NOTES: Sanchez threw 115 pitches. … Since 1974, the most strikeouts for a pitcher over the course of 10 consecutive innings is 23, according to STATS. … Hicks was 8 for 73 (.110) on the season before tripling off Rondon. … Detroit travels to Houston for a four-game series. Rick Porcello (1-2) is expected to start Thursday night for the Tigers. Minnesota has Thursday off.
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