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Tigers lose to Twins in memorable Young debut

Delmon Young made an instant impression on his new team.

He came a few inches from making a bigger one on his old team.

After hitting a homer in his first at-bat as a member of the Detroit Tigers, Young could only watch helplessly as Jim Thome's 600th homer sailed over him and into the bullpen.

"I was hoping it would be a few feet shorter so I could have pulled it back and kept him at 599," Young joked a few hours after having been traded from Thome's Twins to Detroit. "It was good seeing it, and I wish I could have been at home plate, but I'll see him tonight and congratulate him."

Thome hit his milestone home run just an inning after he hit No. 599 as the Twins outslugged the Tigers 9-6 on Monday night. The homer was Thome's 65th against Detroit — his most against any team — but he still received a long standing ovation from the Comerica Park crowd of 36,211.

"There's been some heckling here throughout the years, but that's part of the game," he said. "To be on the road and watch the fans stand up and cheer you is very, very special. It is something I'll never forget."

Thome became the eighth major league player to reach 600, hitting a three-run shot off Daniel Schlereth in the seventh inning to give Minnesota a 9-5 lead.

"I'm not proud of being the guy who gave up 600, but there's not a better guy in the game," Schlereth said. "He was always one of my favorite players growing up, and he did a great thing tonight."

Thome's homers overshadowed the bizarre start to Young's Tigers career. He found out about his being traded for a minor league pitcher and a player to be named so late in the day that he rode the Twins team bus to the game, then homered in the first inning.

"It felt good to be on the board, especially against the old team," he said. "I saw the crowd and I just wanted to hurry up and get to the plate and get one."

Francisco Liriano (8-9) allowed five runs in six innings. Joe Nathan earned his 10th save.

Both of Thome's homers were hit to the opposite field. When No. 600 cleared the fence in left, Thome raised his right fist as he went around first base.

The Tigers posted a congratulatory message on the scoreboard, and the Twins came out of the dugout to greet him at home plate.

Before Monday's game, Thome hadn't homered since Aug. 4.

Alex Avila finished a homer shy of the cycle, but the Tigers couldn't overcome an uneven performance on the mound and in the field.

They couldn't handle Thome, either. After Jason Kubel started the sixth with a single, Thome hit a drive off Porcello an estimated 412 feet over the fence in left-center.

Ben Revere added an RBI triple later in the inning — but was thrown out after a collision with Avila trying for an inside-the-park homer.

Avila hit an RBI triple in the bottom half, then scored on a sacrifice fly, but Thome was just getting started.

Schlereth walked two hitters and struck out two before Thome came to the plate. He took another big cut with his powerful left-handed swing and sent a towering fly to left.

For a moment, it appeared Young might have a chance to make a play on the ball, but he could only watch as his former teammate's hit disappeared over the fence.

NOTES: Minnesota's Denard Span, who has been recovering from a concussion, was scratched from the lineup. ... Young finished 2 for 4. ... Detroit ace Justin Verlander (17-5) takes the mound against Minnesota's Nick Blackburn (7-9) when the teams meet again Tuesday night.