Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - The season couldn't have started much better for the Detroit Tigers.
Things can only improve for the Minnesota Twins.
Shane Greene threw eight spectacular innings in his Tigers debut after sitting through a 3 1/2-rain delay and Detroit beat Minnesota 7-1 Thursday to complete a dominating three-game sweep.
The Tigers held the Twins scoreless for the first 24 innings of the series, the third-longest streak in major league history to begin a season.
The Twins finally scored, but not before smashing the franchise record for consecutive innings without a run to begin the season.
Greene (1-0) -- who was acquired from the New York Yankees in a three-team trade in December -- gave up just four hits, including Kennys Vargas' RBI double with one out in the seventh inning. He struck out five, walked one and threw 65 of his 85 pitches for strikes.
J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs for the Tigers, who won the first two games 4-0 and 11-0, the first time in franchise history they started a season with back-to-back shutouts.
Only the 1963 St. Louis Cardinals (32) and 1943 Cincinnati Reds (26) started the season with more scoreless innings.
Yoenis Cespedes had two hits, including an RBI single in the first inning, to run his batting average to .383 in 18 career games against Minnesota.
Martinez and Cespedes had back-to-back RBI singles in the first inning off Twins starter Kyle Gibson (0-1), who lasted just 3 2/3 frames, giving up six runs on eight hits and five walks.
Victor Martinez added an RBI single in the second inning and knocked in a run when he grounded into a bases-loaded double play in the fourth. J.D. Martinez followed with a line-drive homer the other way to right field to make it 6-0.
Detroit scored its last run in the fifth after Nick Castellanos led off with a triple and Alex Avila drove him in with a single.
"We swung the bats well," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "From Day 1 of spring training I said I thought this lineup was better than what we had a year ago, and I thought we had a very good lineup last year."
Joe Mauer drew a leadoff walk in the seventh inning for Minnesota and scored on Vargas' hit to left-center field, which was deflected in the outfield.
"You have to start somewhere," Twins manager Paul Molitor mildly joked.
It not only snapped a 24-inning scoreless drought against the Tigers to start the season, but also ended a 34-inning streak dating back to the final series last year.
Detroit beat Minnesota 3-0 on Sept. 28 in the last game of the 2014 regular season. The Twins scored four runs in the eighth inning of a 12-3 win the day before.
Minnesota set a franchise record for scoreless innings to begin a season, passing the old mark of 19 set by the Washington Senators in 1940.
Twins catcher Chris Herrmann was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the third inning because of a cut on the bridge of his nose suffered when Tigers leadoff hitter Anthony Gose fouled a ball into his mask in the first inning ... Following Wednesday's game, the Tigers placed right-handed pitcher Joe Nathan on the 15- day disabled list with a right elbow flexor strain, retroactive to April 7 ... The Twins remain on the road for a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox beginning Friday ... The Tigers will start a six-game road trip on Friday in Cleveland.