|Published:||Jul 03, 2012 4:42 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 03, 2012 6:31 AM EDT|
DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Tigers failed at their eighth shot to reach .500 for the first time since mid-May.
Trevor Plouffe hit a two-run single during Minnesota's four-run fourth inning, helping the Twins beat Detroit 6-4 on Monday night.
The Tigers had won five of eight to pull within a victory of a .500 record for the eighth time, but couldn't get a win to avoid having a losing record for at least a couple more days.
Detroit, which generated high expectations during the offseason, is 3½ games behind Chicago in the AL Central and hasn't been .500 since May 15.
"I don't think anybody is looking at the standings," Detroit outfielder Ryan Raburn said.
Minnesota had six singles in all during its big rally as it earned its fourth consecutive win to lift Ron Gardenhire to 900 career victories.
Anthony Swarzak (2-4) picked up the win, allowing a hit and one walk in 2 2-3 innings of relief. Alex Burnett allowed only one walk in 1 1-3 innings and Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his third save in five chances in place of injured closer Matt Capps.
Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder hit one-out singles in the ninth, but their teammates couldn't bring them home. Delmon Young hit a long fly for the second out and Brennan Boesch struck out to end the game.
Boesch also had a chance to help his team in the seventh, but the pinch-hitter was struck out by Burnett on three pitches with two on to end the inning.
"You want to be up in those situations," Boesch said. "You hope to get it done, but in this game odds are you won't."
Doug Fister (1-6) gave up six runs and eight hits in four-plus innings, leaving the Tigers with a five-run deficit. He faded after a strong start that included striking out the side in the first and holding the Twins without a hit for 3 1-3 innings.
"They did find holes and they capitalized on some of my mistakes," Fister said. "I left the ball up a little bit. There's a big difference between just below the knee and just above the knee.
Cabrera hit a two-run double and Young had a sacrifice fly in the fifth to make it 6-4, but that was it for Detroit.
The Twins built a cushion with six runs over the fourth and fifth innings. Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit also had RBI singles in the fourth, and Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau each singled in a run in the fifth to make it 6-1.
Minnesota starter Liam Hendriks failed to finish the fifth inning and remains without a win in 12 career starts. He faced four batters in the fifth and gave up a leadoff single, a four-pitch walk, Cabrera's double and bounced a pitch before it reached the plate to walk Fielder and end his outing.
Minnesota matched its season-best winning streak from May 16-19 that included two wins at Detroit.
"We haven't really synchronized all year, but the players have done a good job of staying pretty stable," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
NOTES: Detroit RHP Max Scherzer will be scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday, the only turn he's expected to miss in the rotation, and LHP Duane Below will face Minnesota in the second of the four-game series. ... Fielder was picked Monday for the All-Star home run derby. ... Burnett has not allowed a run in his last 14 games. ... Cabrera had three hits and three RBIs.