Minneapolis, MN – Prince Fielder went 2-for-4 with and RBI double and Omar Infante added two hits and an RBI as the Detroit Tigers edged the Minnesota Twins, 4-2, in the season opener for both teams at Target Field.
Miguel Cabrera added an RBI and scored once and Torii Hunter had a pair of hits, including a double, in his debut for the Tigers, who were swept in four games in the 2012 World Series by the San Francisco Giants last season.
Justin Verlander (1-0), just days removed from signing a five-year $140 million extension, scattered three hits and struck out seven over five scoreless frames, despite pitching in adverse conditions.
The game-time temperature peaked at 35 degrees and winds reached as high 17 mph throughout the contest.
"When I was warming up in the sun, I was like, 'I could have come out in short sleeves. This isn't that bad.' As soon as the shade set in, it was a totally different ball game. It was miserable," Verlander said.
Phil Coke retired the final two batters in the ninth to pick up the save.
Ryan Doumit had an RBI and Trevor Plouffe scored on a wild pitch for the Twins, who finished a dismal 66-96 last season.
Vance Worley (0-1) allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out three over six innings to absorb the loss.
"We did some good things out there. It was a fun ballgame. Unfortunately we didn't come up with one more big hit," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
The Tigers plated a pair in the first inning and added one more in the second to take a 3-0 lead.
Austin Jackson singled, then moved to third on a base hit from Hunter. Cabrera then grounded into a force out to plate Jackson. Fielder followed with a soft double down the left field line to bring Cabrera around.
Jhonny Peralta opened the second with a base hit to right field and quickly stole second. Omar Infante then ripped a base hit to left to push Peralta across.
The Twins stranded a runner in the fourth, but were able to add a run in both the sixth and seventh.
Justin Morneau opened the fourth with a double. After Ryan Doumit struck out, Morneau moved to third on Plouffe's fly out. Chris Parmelee, though, grounded out to end the threat.
Drew Smyly replaced Verlander in the sixth and retired the first two hitters, but surrendered a double to Plouffe before walking two batters to load the bases.
With the bags full, Smyly bounced a slider that skipped away from catcher Alex Avila to allow Plouffe to score. Smyly was able to get Wilkin Ramirez to ground out to end the inning.
Doumit delivered a bases-loaded single in the seventh to make it 3-2.
Detroit added an insurance run in the eighth as Fielder scored on a wild pitch by Josh Roenicke.
The Tigers are 53-59-1 all-time in season openers ... Verlander has won each of his last eight decisions against Minnesota dating back to July 9, 2010 and is 4-0 all-time at Target Field ... Verlander is the first Tigers pitcher to start six consecutive Opening Days since Jack Morris started 11 straight (1980-1990) ... Worley made his first start for the Twins.