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.
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.
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
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
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