Baseball / Sports

Bats come alive in a big way as Twins pound Detroit

Not sure when Target Field turned into Fenway Park, but nothing is as tenuous for the Twins, it appears, as a five-run lead in their home park.

For the second time in four days, the Twins jumped to a five-run lead early in Friday's game against the Detroit Tigers, then watched as that margin narrowed. On Tuesday, the big lead disappeared completely in a 7-5 loss to Cleveland. This time, the advantage had shrunk to only one run midway through. But the Twins exploded for a nine-run sixth inning and won 20-6 over the Tigers.

Perhaps most disappointing for the Twins was the identity of the pitcher who couldn't hold the lead. Starter Tommy Milone suffered his second straight subpar outing in his new home ballpark, and while it wasn't as bad as his seven-run, four-out debut on Sunday, this wasn't what the Twins had expected from the former 13-game winner, either.

Milone allowed the first batter of the game, Detroit's Ian Kinsler, to hammer a pitch into the left-field bleachers, the third homer he has allowed in three starts since being acquired from Oakland for Sam Fuld. The Twins struck for six runs in the second inning, however, and Milone's path to victory seemed clear.

Not so. The lefthander gave up four runs in the fifth inning, and was lifted after recording only one out. It wasn't all his fault -- Eduardo Escobar committed an error that sparked the Tigers' rally. But five Tigers followed with hits, including a J.T. Martinez double, and Detroit closed within one run.

The six-run second inning was a heartening development for the Twins, who had scored only six runs in one game of this homestand. Consecutive doubles by Kennys Vargas, Oswaldo Arcia and Trevor Plouffe brought the first two runs home, and Escobar followed with a two-run homer. After Jordan Schafer singled, Danny Santana also homered, ending Tigers fill-in starter Robbie Ray's night after just four outs.

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