Minneapolis, MN – Alex Avila knocked in three runs and scored twice as the Detroit Tigers hammered the Minnesota Twins, 10-6, in the opener of a three-game series at Target Field.
Prince Fielder and Brennan Boesch each added three hits, two RBI and scored twice for the Tigers, who snapped a three-game slide.
"We busted out a little bit," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We broke out with some big hits, two-out hits. It's good to see. We just have to sustain it a little bit."
Drew Smyly (2-1) allowed four runs -- three earned -- on six hits and two walks through five-plus innings to earn the win.
Anthony Swarzak (0-4) gave up six runs on nine hits and a walk in just 3 2/3 innings. Brian Dozier and Jamey Carroll both knocked in a pair of runs for Minnesota, which dropped its third straight game.
Smyly almost escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning when he got Justin Morneau to line out to short for the frame's second out, but Dozier followed with a two-run double to left, scoring Denard Span and Joe Mauer to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.
The lead, though, was short-lived as Fielder led off the second with a single, moved to second on Delmon Young's base hit and crossed the plate on a double high off the right-center field wall by Boesch.
Two batters later, Avila sent the 10th pitch of his at-bat into the right- center field gap to bring home Young and Boesch. Quintin Berry stepped up next and singled in Avila to put Detroit on top, 4-2.
After Minnesota stranded the tying runs on second and third in the bottom of the second, the Tigers added to their lead in fourth inning on a pair of doubles by Boesch and Avila, and Ryan Raburn's two-out RBI single up the middle, knocking Swarzak off the mound.
The Twins answered with Carroll's sacrifice fly that plated Trevor Plouffe in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Detroit quickly got the run back in the fifth when Fielder doubled in Miguel Cabrera to make the score 7-3.
Smyly was pulled after allowing a leadoff single to Morneau in the sixth and Dozier followed with a grounder back to the mound that new pitcher Brayan Villarreal fielded, but his throw to second was wide and both runners were safe.
Plouffe then hit a bouncer to first that Fielder tossed to second for the force out, but Villarreal could not keep his foot on first base on Jhonny Peralta's throw back to first, placing runners on the corners with one out.
Alexi Casilla's sacrifice fly to left brought home Morneau before Plouffe moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt by Villarreal and rounded the bases on Carroll's base hit up the middle to bring the Twins within 7-5.
"That's the type of game we play, Dozier said. "It doesn't matter how far we're down. We have a very good lineup. We can hit with anybody."
But the Tigers regained their cushion in the seventh inning when Berry bunted for a leadoff single, stole second and later scored on Fielder's single to center field.
Young then sent a double down the right-field line to plate Cabrera before Boesch lifted a fly ball to shallow left field that Plouffe misplayed and had fall just in front of his outstretched glove to score Fielder for a 10-5 margin.
Morneau's RBI groundout in the bottom of the seventh capped the scoring.
Detroit placed outfielder Austin Jackson on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 17, reinstated Raburn off the bereavement list and reinstated pitcher Luis Marte off the disabled list earlier Friday...Carroll and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire were both ejected at the end of the eighth inning for arguing a call at first base...Detroit improved to 5-4 in games Smyly has pitched...Minnesota fell to 2-9 in its last 11 home games against the Tigers.