Bonine, Ordonez help Tigers beat Twins 7-2
DETROIT: Magglio Ordonez hit a three-run double and the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 7-2 on Wednesday night to move closer to the AL Central title.
Eddie Bonine pitched five effective innings after getting off to a rough start for Detroit, which increased its lead to three games over the Twins. The Tigers can clinch their first division title since 1987 with a victory in Thursday afternoon's series finale.
Ordonez's second key hit in consecutive days broke it open in the fifth. The Tigers loaded the bases with one out against Carl Pavano (13-12), who responded by getting Miguel Cabrera to pop up. Ordonez followed with a drive to center to clear the bases and give the Tigers a 7-2 lead.
Ordonez also had a two-run double in the Tigers' 6-5 victory Tuesday night that salvaged a split of the key day-night doubleheader.
Pavano allowed seven runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings. He was 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA in five previous starts against Detroit this year.
Bonine (1-1), making his ninth career start, allowed two runs in the first but shut down the Twins for the rest of his outing. He gave up seven hits, walked two and struck out three.
Bonine was hurt in the first by another defensive mistake by center fielder Curtis Granderson, who misplayed a ball in the ninth inning Tuesday night that helped the Twins pull within one.
Bonine retired leadoff hitter Denard Span, but Orlando Cabrera, Joe Mauer and Jason Kubel followed with consecutive singles to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead. Michael Cuddyer walked before Delmon Young lifted a fly ball to deep center field. Granderson turned the wrong way, allowing the ball to sail over his head, but recovered quickly enough to hold the Twins to one run and Jose Morales hit into an inning-ending double play.
The Tigers quickly erased the deficit, scoring four times in the second. Brandon Inge had a tying two-run double and Ramon Santiago singled in a pair of runs.
NOTES: Tigers manager Jim Leyland said before the game that rookie Alberto Figaro would start Saturday against Chicago. ... The game drew 34,775 fans. Despite the pennant race, the Tigers haven't had a home sellout since July 25.