May 8: Detroit 2, Minnesota 1
This one was just an exquisite duel between Justin Verlander and Walter Johnson. The Twins scratched a run against Verlander on a Stan Spence walk, Cecil Travis sacrifice, and Harmon Killebrew single in the fifth, and it sure looked like Johnson was going to make that one run hold up. Being two outs away from a shutout has been the kiss of death lately for starters around the league, and once Johnson got to that point, pinch-hitter Bobby Veach walked, Norm Cash doubled, and Harry Heilmann knocked them both in with a single. A stunned Twins crowd fell silent. John Hiller and Doug Brocail kept them quiet as they finished off the Twins in the bottom of the ninth.
Cash seemed unfazed facing the legendary Big Train and had a 4-for-5 day.
R H BB DET 000 000 002 - 2 9 3 MN 000 010 000 - 1 6 4 HR: none starters IP R ER HR BB SO J. Verlander 7.0 1 1 0 3 4 W. Johnson 8.1 2 2 0 3 6 DET 12-19, MN 15-16
May 10: Detroit 6, Minnesota 3
Detroit similarly managed only two runs against Johan Santana the next day, but luckily for them, Santana isn’t able to go deep in games like Johnson. After Santana allowed four hits and two runs in the top of the sixth, the Twins tied it up in the bottom of the inning. But Twins skipper Bucky Harris didn’t feel comfortable sending a fatigued Santana back out, so Rick Aguilera took over. Detroit pounced on him for four quick runs, and Detroit was happy to pull off wins against the previously almost unbeatable top two Twins twirlers. Hal Newhouser had one of his better starts in what has been a rocky year so far.
R H BB DET 000 002 400 - 6 11 2 MN 100 001 010 - 3 9 5 HR: none starters IP R ER HR BB SO H. Newhouser 8.1 3 1 0 5 2 J. Santana 6.0 2 2 0 0 6 DET 13-19, MN 15-17
May 11: Minnesota 5, Detroit 3
After the Minnesota offense barely showed up in the first two games, they finally got something cooking against Tommy Bridges. Rod Carew, Kirby Puckett, and Cecil Travis all contributed extra base hits as the Twins hung five runs on Bridges in the first four innings. Dizzy Trout pitched four scoreless innings in relief.
Meanwhile, Camilo Pascual was taming the Tigers. Pascual got into trouble in the eighth that had Detroit thinking comeback, but Joe Nathan came in to strike out George Kell and stayed in to finish a four out save.
R H BB DET 000 101 010 - 3 8 6 MN 012 200 00x - 5 12 1 HR: none starters IP R ER HR BB SO T. Bridges 4.0 5 5 0 1 2 C. Pascual 7.2 3 2 0 6 4 DET 13-20, MN 16-17