Grossman homers as Tigers blank Twins 1-0
Robbie Grossman hit a leadoff homer and four Detroit pitchers combined on a two-hitter, leading the Tigers to a 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a split doubleheader on Saturday.
José Ureña started for the Tigers and pitched three innings of two-hit ball before departing due right groin tightness. Daniel Norris (1-3) then got six outs, Kyle Funkhouser struck out the side in the sixth and Gregory Soto worked the seventh for his eighth save.
The Twins were shut out for the fourth time this season. They swept a four-game home series from Detroit prior to the All-Star break.
The teams were supposed to play a doubleheader on Friday, but it was postponed due to inclement weather.
Minnesota left-hander Charlie Barnes (0-1) pitched 4 2/3 innings of four-hit ball in his big league debut. He was promoted from Triple-A St. Paul.
Grossman connected for his third career leadoff homer.
Detroit put two runners on in the fourth and three in the fifth but failed to build on its lead.
Twins: RHP Derek Law was placed on the 10-day injured list IL with a right shoulder impingement and LHP Danny Coulombe was placed on the paternity list. RHP Beau Burrows and LHP Juan Minaya were recalled from Triple-A St. Paul.
Tigers: OF Nomar Mazara was designated for assignment and INF Willi Castro was optioned to Triple-A Toledo. OF Derek Hill and INF Isaac Paredes were recalled from Toledo. … RHP Will Vest, a Rule 5 draft selection, was returned to Detroit from Seattle.
Twins: LHP Devin Smeltzer, who had been sidelined due to left elbow inflammation, is now dealing with a back injury, according to manager Rocco Baldelli.
Tigers: SS Niko Goodrum was scratched due to left calf tightness. … RHP Michael Fulmer (right cervical spine strain) will throw a bullpen session this weekend.
Twins RHP Kenta Maeda (4-3, 4.66 ERA) will oppose Tigers LHP Tyler Alexander (1-1, 4.31 ERA) in the second game of the doubleheader. Maeda is 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA in six career starts against Detroit. Alexander will be making his third start this season but hasn’t pitched more than three innings.