Denard Span's Big Night Helps First-Place Twins Sweep Tigers

Behind a big night from Denard Span, the Twins swept the Tigers with a 5-4 win on Wednesday. For more, visit Twinkie Town and Bless You Boys.

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Denard Span's Big Night Helps First-Place Twins Sweep Tigers

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Denard Span went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, as the Minnesota Twins completed a three-game sweep with a 5-4 win over the Detroit Tigers at Target Field.

Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel each added a run-scoring double for Minnesota, which earned its first sweep of Detroit since they took a three-game set from May 12-14, 2009 at the Metrodome. The Twins have now won four straight and five of six.

Kevin Slowey (4-2) earned the win for yielding three runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Jon Rauch picked up his eighth save of the season despite giving up a solo homer in the ninth.

"Today was a difficult step for me. I felt like I was battling from the first inning on," Slowey said. "I wasn't able to throw to a consistent rhythm. It's important to keep going out there in those games. Certainly I would have wanted to go seven or eight innings. I got a lot of help from the bullpen and a lot of help from the bats. The win is the most important thing."

Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila each hit a pair of homers for the Tigers, who had won five in a row entering the series. Rick Porcello (2-3) was saddled with the loss for allowing five hits, five runs -- three earned -- and four walks with three strikeouts over 5 1/3 frames.

"I think it's still not where I need to be," Porcello said about his performance. "It's a matter of a couple pitches, making quality pitches in tough situations."

Morneau's run-scoring double off the center-field wall and an RBI groundout by Michael Cuddyer gave the Twins an early 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Avila led off the top of the third with a homer to right, but Kubel got the run back in the home half with a two-out RBI double into the left-center field gap. Cabrera belted a solo shot in the fourth to trim the Tigers' deficit to 3-2.

Minnesota tacked on two in the bottom portion. Alexi Casilla drew a two-out walk and came around to score when Nick Punto reached on a three-base error after right-fielder Brennan Boesch dropped a fly ball near the warning track. Span's RBI single plated another for a 5-2 Twins advantage.

Cabrera cracked his second homer of the game with one out in the sixth to get the Tigers a run closer, but three Twins' relievers settled things down to bridge the gap to Rauch in the ninth. The hard-throwing righty served up a leadoff homer to Avila, then retired the next three batters to preserve the win.

Minnesota was without catcher Joe Mauer, who is suffering from a deep soft tissue bruise in his left heel and missed his fifth straight game. He remains day-to-day...Twins shortstop J.J. Hardy (left wrist) sat out and is expected to miss a game or two...Slowey, who turned 26 on Tuesday, improved to 4-0 in six career starts against Detroit...Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson extended his hitting streak to eight games...Detroit left fielder Johnny Damon left in the fourth inning with a right calf injury.

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