The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 13A
Twins in tight contest
DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Tigers
insist they haven't given up, though they
are playing for little more than pride and
perhaps their manager's job.
Craig Monroe hit a tiebreaking, two-
run single with two outs in the eighth
inning to lift Detroit to a 4-2 win yester-
day over the Minnesota Twins.
The Tigers avoided a three-game
sweep after losing 11 of 13 this month.
"I don't think anybody has quit,"
Monroe said. "We're just going through
a rough time. We owe it to ourselves and
our fans to play as hard as we can the
rest of the season so that everybody can
have something to look forward to by
the time spring training rolls around."
Curtis Granderson's two-run homer
in the third gave the Tigers a lead
they clung to until the eighth, when
Michael Cuddyer's two-out single tied
the score at two.
Craig Dingman (2-2) got the final
four outs for the victory.
"The wins have been hard to come
by, and today was no different," Detroit
manager Alan Trammell said.
While there is speculation that Tram-
mell will - or should - be fired, and
sports-talk shows are filled with callers
saying the former Tigers great should be
replaced, he has accepted at least some
of the responsibility for what has been a
Victories such as the one over the
Twins give Trammell confidence, how-
ever, that his players have not quit.
"We're not mailing it in," he said.
Losing pitcher Juan Rincon (6-5)
entered the game in the eighth and gave
up three singles and a walk in the inning.
Detroit starter Sean Douglass
allowed one run, four hits and a walk in
six innings. Jamie Walker gave up one
hit in the seventh and Chris Spurling
retired the only two batters he faced in
Minnesota's Francisco Liriano gave
up two runs, two hits and a walk while
striking out six over five innings in his
first major league start. The highly tout-
ed prospect - the starting pitcher for
the World Team in the Futures Game in
Detroit during All-Star week - made
his major league debut earlier this month
with his first of two relief appearances.
"The nerves have gone away," Liria-
no said. "I feel better now."
Minnesota lefty Johan Santana, who
was scheduled to pitch, had his start
pushed back to Saturday because of a
blister on his middle finger.
Liriano showed why the Twins are
excited about him.
With a mid-90s fastball, changeup
and slider, he retired his first seven bat-
ters, striking out four in a row, before
Vance Wilson walked and Granderson
homered to give Detroit a 2-0 lead in the
"Tough loss for us," Twins manager
Ron Gardenhire said. "We pitched good
enough to win. We didn't score enough
Liriano was acquired in a trade with
San Francisco after the 2003 season
along with two-time All-Star closer Joe
Nathan and right-hander Boof Bonser
for catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
"What a trade they made getting
Nathan and Liriano and another guy that
led the International League in strike-
outs," Trammell said. "They got three
quality players for A.J. Pierzynski.
Detroit pitcher Craig Dingman picked up his second win of the season In relief.
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