DETROIT — Nelson Cruz hit a grand slam after a near miss and added a solo homer and a double, Matt Shoemaker held Detroit hitless into the fifth inning and the Minnesota Twins rolled past the Tigers 15-6 on Monday.
Akil Baddoo hit a grand slam for the Tigers. He made his big league debut Sunday and homered on the first pitch thrown to him.
Cruz came up with the bases loaded in the second and the Twins already up 2-0. He sent a drive down the line in right field that went foul — but was close enough for a replay review. That call was upheld, but then Cruz hit the very next pitch over the fence in left.
The Twins scored five runs in the second and Cruz homered again in a five-run fifth.
Limited to pinch-hitting duty in Minnesota’s opening series at Milwaukee, Cruz was back in his normal role with the return of the designated hitter to the Twins’ lineup. After hitting his two homers, he doubled and scored in the sixth.
Cruz hit a towering fly in the ninth that was caught on the warning track.
Tiger infielder Harold Castro pitched a hitless ninth. Detroit scored five with two outs in the bottom half on a solo homer by Victor Reyes and the slam by Baddoo.
Shoemaker (1-0) held the Tigers without a hit until Wilson Ramos homered with two outs in the fifth. He allowed three hits in six innings with five strikeouts and earned his first victory since April 9, 2019, before he was beset by injuries.
Shoemaker, a Michigan native, has dominated the Tigers in his career, going 5-1 with a 0.79 ERA in seven starts against Detroit.
José Ureña (0-1) lasted only three innings in his Tigers debut. The right-hander allowed five earned runs, four hits and four walks with five strikeouts. He threw 66 pitches in the first two innings alone.
Randy Dobnak, who entered with the Twins up 15-1, allowed those five runs in the ninth but was credited with his first save of the season after pitching the final three innings.
The game was delayed by rain for 52 minutes at the start, and when it began it moved slowly — when the Twins were batting, at least. Minnesota finished with 14 hits and drew 11 walks. Detroit’s six pitchers did combine for 13 strikeouts. The Tigers threw 215 pitches in the game.
Twins: 3B Luiz Arraez left the game in the second inning with upper gastrointestinal discomfort. Willians Astudillo replaced him and had three hits. … OF Byron Buxton was out of the lineup. He left Sunday’s game with an illness unrelated to COVID-19, according to team officials. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Monday that Buxton was doing better but was still not 100%.
Tigers: DH Miguel Cabrera returned to the lineup. He experienced soreness coming out of Saturday’s game and had the day off Sunday.
Detroit sends RHP Casey Mize to the mound for his first start of the season. The No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft, Mize arrived in the majors last season but is still seeking his first win. LHP J.A. Happ is set to start for the Twins.
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