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AL GAMES OF THE DAY

Tigers and Twins keep their distance

Detroit stays two games ahead of Minnesota by winning the second game of a doubleheader, 6-5, after losing the first game, 3-2, in 10 innings.

September 30, 2009|Associated Press

DETROIT — Justin Verlander kept the Detroit Tigers on top in the American League Central, pitching eight innings in a 6-5 win Tuesday over the Minnesota Twins that salvaged a split of a day-night doubleheader.

The Tigers restored their two-game division lead over the Twins, who won the day game, 3-2, in 10 innings. There are two games left in the series and five in the regular season.

Verlander (18-9) gave up four runs and eight hits. Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 36th save in 37 chances, overcoming some shaky defense that allowed Minnesota to pull within a run.

Brian Duensing (5-2) gave up five runs over 4 2/3 innings for the Twins, who had a chance to at least tie the score in the eighth and ninth innings.

Delmon Young started the ninth with an infield single. Rodney retired the next two batters and Nick Punto followed with a fly ball to center field that Curtis Granderson misjudged, allowing it to go over his head and helping the Twins pull within a run. Rodney then got Denard Span to hit a game-ending fly to left field.

Orlando Cabrera hit a go-ahead single in the 10th inning of the opener. Jon Rauch (4-1) earned the win and Joe Nathan picked up his career-high 45th save.

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