The Tigers' Placido Polanco tries to complete a double play but fails in the first inning.
Duane Burleson / AP Enlarge
DETROIT - The anticipated matchup between a two-time Cy Young Award winner and a former American League Rookie of the Year never materialized.
Joe Mauer hit his first career grand slam, and Johan Santana scattered five hits over six innings, outpitching Justin Verlander and leading the Minnesota Twins past the Detroit Tigers 11-1 last night.
Verlander (9-3) gave up two runs in the first inning, and Mauer broke the game open with his grand slam in the fifth. Verlander walked five batters, four of which scored, in five innings. He gave up four hits and struck out five.
"I beat myself tonight," Verlander said. "I gave them too many opportunities to score with the walks tonight."
Santana (9-6) allowed one run, striking out six and walking one.
"I tried to stay very aggressive," he said. "We were able to score a couple of runs, and I tried to protect the lead."
Justin Morneau had three hits and drove in two runs for the Twins, playing in his second game after missing almost a week because of a bruised right lung.
A leadoff single by Luis Castillo and Verlander's two walks loaded the bases with none out in the first. Michael
Cuddyer drove in the first run with a fielder's choice grounder, and Morneau's infield single brought in the second run.
Detroit threatened in the first with one-out singles by Polanco and Gary Sheffield. But Magglio Ordonez was called out on strikes as Polanco and Sheffield pulled off a double steal, and Santana got out of the inning by retiring Carlos Guillen on a pop fly to right.
"Santana was very good against a very good lineup over there," said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire. "He made pitches when he had to."
Mauer's grand slam came with one out in the fifth after Verlander had walked the bases loaded. The left-handed batting Mauer lined Verlander's 3-2 pitch to the opposite field and over the fence for his fourth home run of the season.
"I got ahead of him in the count, 3-1, so I wanted to see if he threw one over. He did - 3-2, he threw it in the same spot," Mauer said. "I was just trying to hit something hard to the outfield."
Detroit manager Jim Leyland knew that was the game.
"When you go six down to a pitcher like Santana," he said, "you are going to lose."
After the first inning, Santana held the Tigers hitless until Ivan Rodriguez's leadoff single in the fifth. He advanced to second on a flyout, but Santana struck out Marcus Thames and Neifi Perez to end the inning.
Polanco put Detroit on the scoreboard with his second home run, which came with one out in the sixth. He finished 3-for-4.
Jason Kubel added an RBI double in the eighth, and the Twins added four runs in the ninth on a wild pitch by Eulogio De La Cruz, an error by Perez and RBI singles by Morneau and Torii Hunter.
NOTES: Detroit 3B Brandon Inge was a late scratch because of a lower back spasm. He was replaced in the lineup by Perez. ... Manager Ron Gardenhire said Morneau would be the DH for the entire three-game series. ... The Tigers reinstated RHP Zach Miner (strained right elbow flexor) from the DL, and placed LHP Tim Byrdak on the 15-day disabled list with left elbow tendinitis. ... Tigers' hitting coach Lloyd McClendon was ejected by home plate umpire Marty Foster in the first inning after he questioned a called third strike to Ordonez. ... Ordonez was 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. He's batting .429 (24-for-56) during the streak. ... Guillen's streak of 11 games with an RBI was snapped. The team record is 12, shared by Mickey Cochrane (1934) and Rudy York (1940).
SAN FRANCISCO - Willie Mays will be honored with a nationally televised tribute prior to the All-Star game in San Francisco next month.
The Hall of Famer, a New York and San Francisco Giants star, will be a focus of pregame activity on July 10 at AT&T Park, Major League Baseball said yesterday.
On the morning of the All-Star game, the Hunters Point Boys and Girls club will be named after him. Giants owner Peter Magowan said during spring training he hoped Mays would be a big part of the city's first All-Star game since 1984 and first in its 8-year-old waterfront ballpark.
Ted Williams received a similar honor at the 1999 All-Star game in Boston.
"That's good, a nice tribute," Mays said. "Once they honor you, it's good. They don't do many guys that way. The last one was Ted."
Mays was an all-star in 20 consecutive seasons from 1954-73.