Twins 7, Tigers 6


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Luis Castillo slapped a single past a drawn-in Detroit infield, lifting the Minnesota Twins to a 7-6 victory over the Tigers on Saturday.

Todd Jones (0-1) blew his first save in seven chances, with a one-out walk followed by an RBI triple by Shannon Stewart that tied the game. Then came Castillo’s hit, giving the Twins their first win over the Tigers in five tries.

Magglio Ordonez homered for the second straight night and Curtis Granderson hit a two-run drive for Detroit, which outscored Minnesota 42-7 while hitting 10 homers and winning their first four meetings.

Torii Hunter went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for the Twins, who hit into three double plays and are now 1-10 against the three teams ahead of them in the AL Central. Juan Rincon (2-0) picked up the victory in relief.

Carlos Guillen had two hits and an RBI, and the first five hitters in the Tigers’ lineup drove in all six runs to support Jeremy Bonderman, who nearly won his third straight start.

Bonderman gave up a season-high 10 hits, though, and also allowed three walks and five runs in 6 2-3 innings while striking out three. An RBI double by Joe Mauer off Jamie Walker cut Detroit’s lead to one in the seventh, but Joel Zumaya came in to strike out Hunter to end the inning. The radar gun showed 98 mph, and Hunter winced and cursed as he headed back to the dugout.

Dmitri Young, activated from the disabled list the day before, led off the seventh with a double in a two-run, tiebreaking inning against reliever Francisco Liriano.

With two out, Brandon Inge singled to drive in Young. Then Ivan Rodriguez hit a line drive to left-center that fell in front of Stewart – whose throw sailed over the cutoff man to a vacant second base where Rodriguez pulled in for a double while Inge scored.

Guillen’s chopper down the line skipped away from third baseman Tony Batista and into the bullpen for an RBI double that cut the Minnesota lead to 2-1 in the second.

Ordonez led off the fourth with his eighth homer to again pull the Tigers within one. After hitting at least 29 home runs each season with the Chicago White Sox from 1999-2003, Ordonez stumbled through the next two years while fighting knee and hernia problems – going deep a total of only 17 times in 507 at-bats over the 2004 and 2005 seasons. But he’s worked his way back into form, batting fourth in a lineup that leads the majors with 49 homers.

Granderson tied the game at 4 with his homer in the fifth, sticking Scott Baker with a no-decision. Baker allowed seven hits in six innings while striking out five without a walk.

The Twins hit Bonderman hard, but they frequently bailed him out of further damage, too.

Hunter hit a two-run double with one out in the first, but Batista later stranded two runners with a groundout that stopped the rally. Michael Cuddyer’s double drove in Mauer to put Minnesota up 3-1 in the third, but Batista bounced into a bases-loaded double play to end the inning.

In the fourth, after Rondell White and Juan Castro started with singles, Stewart grounded into a double play that scored a run but squelched another threat. Hunter singled with one out in the fifth, but he was caught stealing. Then in the sixth, White wiped out Batista’s one-out single with another double play.

Notes: Chris Shelton, whose torrid April was the talk of baseball, is one of the few Tigers who haven’t hit much this year against the Twins. After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, he’s 3-for-20 against them. Shelton is also in a 3-for-25 slump overall. … Cuddyer has hit in seven straight games, going 11-for-28 with five doubles, one homer and three RBIs.

AP-ES-05-06-06 2204EDT