The Twins forged a rare first-inning lead, scoring three runs--including a Joe Mauer homer--and holding off the Tigers and the mighty Miguel Cabrera for a 3-2 win Saturday afternoon in Detroit to end a 10-game losing streak.
In fact, it was a day of rather grim "firsts" for the Twins. To wit:
* The 2013 Twins had won their first five one-run games this season, but had lost eight of those games in a row.
* The Twins won a one-run game for the first time since April.
* Minnesota won for the first time not only in 10 games, but in 12 (long, dreary) days.
* Twins pitcher P.J. Walters made his first 2013 appearance for the Twins and picked up his first victory after being called to The Show this week.
And Joe Mauer had this to say about his game to Fox Sports North: "You just have to treat every at bat like you're in first place."
First place is not, of course, even a thought for Minnesota right now.
Mauer's first-inning home run barely cleared the right field wall, causing former Twin and ex-teammate Torii Hunter to claim the hit didn't make it out of Comerica Park, but the umpires disagreed.
The day after he broke up a no-hitter for Detroit's Anibal Sanchez in the ninth inning, Mauer continued to float in the rarefied air of the game's best hitters, going 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored, bringing his batting average to .347, according to the SportsNetwork. He's hitting .400 for the month of May.
Walters gave the Twins the team's first decent start in ages, going six innings while giving up two runs on eight hits, including a strikeout of reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera in the fifth. Glen Perkins picked up his ninth save of the year.
Hunter doubled in a run and Jhonny Peralta knocked one out for the Tigers.
The Twins can even the four-game series in a noon game Sunday.
Two Other Twins Notes
Manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected for definitely not the first time. Umpires tossed Gardy for the 64th time in his career during the third inning, the AP reports.
Finally, the Twins lost outfielder Joe Benson, once a prime prospect, to the Texas Rangers on waivers. The Twins hoped to sneak Benson by unclaimed to make room for Walters on the 40-man roster, the Star Tribune reports. The PiPress says the Twins tried to work out a trade for Benson the last few days, but found little interest.