Tigers Fall at Twins

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Craig Monroe hit a three-run homer and Justin Morneau added three hits to help the Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 6-4 on Tuesday night.
Mike Redmond had two RBIs for Minnesota, which has won eight of 10 and 12 of its last 14. The Twins began the day 2 1/2 games behind Chicago in the AL Central, with Detroit five back, after going 18-4 in its previous 22 games.
Marcus Thames hit his second homer in as many games for the Tigers, who lost for the first time in seven games.
Scott Baker (5-2) wasn't sharp, but won his third straight game for the first time in his 60-start career. He retired 10 of the first 11 Detroit batters before getting roughed up a bit in the middle innings. For the second straight start, he allowed three earned runs in six innings.
One night after the Twins' bullpen gave up the lead in a 5-4 defeat, Brian Bass and Dennys Reyes limited Detroit to one run in two innings before Joe Nathan earned his 23rd save in 25 chances with a perfect ninth.
Five hits to open the fifth chased Nate Robertson (6-7), who was hit hard for the second straight game. Robertson, who allowed a season-high 11 hits in 6 1-3 innings last Thursday, allowed the same amount in four innings Tuesday.
It was his shortest outing since June 5, 2007, when he gave up six earned runs without recording an out. He went on the disabled list the next day with a tired arm. Eleven of 20 Minnesota batters reached base against Robertson, who was aided by grounding the Twins into two of their franchise-record tying five double plays.
The Twins finally scored on Monroe's shot over the centerfield wall in the fourth. It was Minnesota's first three-run home run since Monroe did so as a pinch-hitter May 28 at Kansas City.
Minnesota entered the game hitting a major-league best .313 with runners in scoring position, but could not capitalize early.
With runners on second and third with nobody out in the first, Redmond grounded out to first, and Carlos Gomez, who hesitated on the play, was thrown out at the plate.
The Twins got their first two batters on base in the second, but a strikeout and double play kept them off the scoreboard.
Redmond hit into a bases-loaded double play to end the sixth.
Carlos Guillen scored on a wild pitch in the fourth for Detroit, before Baker struck out Matt Joyce and Gary Sheffield with Thames at second base.
Thames two-run homer in the sixth was his 14th in 30 games. Sheffield had an RBI single in the eighth.
Notes:@ Minnesota last grounded into five double plays Aug. 12, 2006, against Toronto. ... 1B Miguel Cabrera pinch-hit for the Tigers. He left Monday's game with a tight left hip flexor. ... Gomez walked twice for the first time in his career. Minnesota's leadoff hitter now has 14 walks and 83 strikeouts. ... Detroit reliever Zach Miner walked a career-high four batters in two-plus innings.

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