Homers hurt Worley as Twins fall to Tigers

Three blasts end righty's day in fifth as bats struggle vs. Verlander

Homers hurt Worley as Twins fall to Tigers

DETROIT -- For the second straight night, the long ball did the Twins in at Comerica Park.

Starter Vance Worley gave up six runs over 4 2/3 innings Tuesday, with five of them coming via the home run, and the Twins fell to the Tigers for the second night in a row, this time by a 6-1 score.

"Worley really didn't command well in the strike zone, and every pitch he left out over the plate they put in the seats," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It was just one of those nights for him where he made it through a couple innings really nice, but really had to fight his way through it."

Worley found himself in trouble early. Former Twin Torii Hunter doubled with one out in the first. Then Miguel Cabrera smacked an 0-1 pitch over the right-field wall to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

The early part of the game continued to cause problems for Worley. Entering Tuesday, he had allowed seven runs in the first inning of games and six in the second, compared to four for the following innings. He can't explain the reason for his slow starts.

"Today's the best I felt all year," Worley said. "The ball was doing what I wanted it to do. They just came out swinging early. Not really much else I could do."

Worley said he liked where his pitches were, but sometimes a great hitter just wins out. Cabrera's home run came on a changeup on the outside of the plate, and he's one of the best power hitters going the other way. Worley was asked if he thought that pitch was a home run ball.

"Absolutely not," he said. "I saw it on film afterward and I tip my hat to him. All those hits that were home runs, they were pitches that were supposed to be popups or stay on the ground, and they put it out. Tip my hat to them."

The lone Twins run came in the second, when Wilkin Ramirez hit a two-out double to score Justin Morneau. The Twins had two hits and a walk in the inning, but it was the most damage they would do to Justin Verlander, who allowed five hits and struck out eight over seven innings.

"He was throwing some nasty stuff," Ramirez said. "He gave me a good breaking pitch to hit, and I hit a line drive over the shortstop. Then he threw a couple fastballs by me. Everybody knows he's a good pitcher. You have to battle."

Ramirez went 2-for-3 with the RBI double and a walk. Joe Mauer ended his career-long 0-for-21 hitless streak with a third-inning single, but he finished just 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.

The Tigers struck with the long ball again when Alex Avila hit a solo home run in the second to push the lead to 3-1.

In the fifth, Prince Fielder tattooed an inside fastball for a two-run shot to extend the lead to 6-1. After a double by Victor Martinez, Worley's day was done. He allowed 10 hits, struck out one and walked one, along with the six earned runs.

Through two games in the series, nine of the Tigers' 10 runs have come courtesy of the home run.

The Twins' lineup entered the series among baseball's best when it came to not striking out. But between Max Scherzer on Monday and Verlander on Tuesday -- two of the best strikeout pitchers -- and the Tigers' bullpen, the Twins struck out 10 times in each of the first two games of the series.

Home runs and strikeouts. Those have been the differences in the first two games, and both have been in favor of Detroit.

"That's their team," Gardenhire said. "They've got big power guys. They've got a great rotation. The big thing here is trying to keep people out in front of these big guys, and that's hard to do, also. But you have to make pitches and you have to command the strike zone against them. Tonight, it didn't work."

Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.