Twins touch up Verlander, breeze to easy win

Hero: Morneau went 3-for-4, scored three runs and picked up an RBI on his solo shot in the third.

Figure this: The Twins reached base on 17 hits, five walks and a hit by pitch against five Tigers pitchers, and saw everyone in the lineup record a hit on the day.

Quotable: "It was an ugly day. We didn't play like a professional team. If you play like we did today, you will get your butts beat." -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland

-- ESPN.com news services

Twins 11, Tigers 3

DETROIT (AP) -- Justin Verlander had his way with the Minnesota Twins last season. He had a much tougher time in his first game against them this year.

Justin Morneau homered and the Twins roughed up Verlander in an 11-3 win over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.

Minnesota beat Verlander, who went 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA against the Twins in his rookie season, less than 24 hours after it pinned a loss on standout Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya.

"These are two good wins for us," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We've beat the ball around against some pretty good pitchers."

Verlander (1-1) had his first poor outing of the year, allowing five runs -- three earned -- and eight hits in three innings. He came into the game with a 2.08 ERA, third-best among American League starters.

"I didn't have my good stuff," Verlander said. "I started to go too fast -- my mind started racing and I just started throwing. When I do that, I get into trouble."

Morneau had three hits and scored three times for the Twins, who reached base 23 times -- 17 hits, five walks and a hit by pitch -- against five Tigers pitchers. Every player in their lineup had at least one hit, and six had at least two.

"It was an ugly day," said Detroit manager Jim Leyland, who was ejected in the fifth inning. "We didn't play like a professional team. If you play like we did today, you will get your butts beat."

Minnesota starter Carlos Silva (2-1) wasn't sharp either, allowing 10 hits and a walk in six innings, but he held the Tigers to three runs.

"When the offense hits like that, I can be more relaxed on the mound," Silva said. "But I still have to do my thing."

After Verlander got out of a first-inning jam by picking Nick Punto off first, Magglio Ordonez gave the Tigers the lead with a two-run double in the bottom half. Ordonez was thrown out trying for third, Carlos Guillen followed with a triple and Silva got Sean Casey to ground out to get out of the inning.

The Twins scored four times in the second, helped by first baseman Casey's throwing error, and added a fifth run in the third on Morneau's sixth homer.

The Tigers made it 5-3 with a run in the bottom of the third, but hurt themselves with two baserunning problems in the inning. With runners on first and second and none out, Torii Hunter dropped Gary Sheffield's shallow fly, but was able to recover and force Curtis Granderson at third.

After Ordonez popped up, Guillen hit an RBI double, but Luis Rodriguez's relay throw was in time to get Sheffield at the plate to end the inning.

"That's why you like having a good defense," Silva said.

Minnesota then put the game away with three runs in a wild fifth. With runners on the corners, Hunter grounded back to reliever Wil Ledezma. Ledezma trapped Michael Cuddyer off third, but was called for obstruction during the ensuing rundown, allowing the run to score.

After Jason Kubel followed with a two-run single to make it 8-3, Ledezma yelled at plate umpire Paul Nauert and was ejected. Leyland also was thrown out after Ledezma's ejection.

"I won't comment on that," Leyland said. "I don't ever talk about umpires."

Minnesota added a pair of runs in the eighth on Cuddyer's sacrifice fly and Hunter's RBI single.

Game notes
Tigers C Ivan Rodriguez (foot) missed his second straight game. Rookie Mike Rabelo started and got his first major league hit, a single in the sixth to end an 0-for-15 start. "I'm happy it is over," he said. "Now I can relax a little." ... Hunter extended his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games. ... Minnesota has won five straight against Detroit.