MINNEAPOLIS -- It just gets worse for the Detroit Tigers.
Even with a two-run lead in the eighth inning, the Tigers couldn't win.
They couldn't even keep close.
Pinch-hitter David Ortiz broke an 0-for-16 slump with a tiebreaking bases-loaded triple in an eight-run eighth inning, and the Tigers lost their 11th straight game, 13-7 Sunday to the Minnesota Twins.
"It's getting tougher," Bobby Higginson said. "You keep thinking when you're coming into the ballpark that today's going to be the day. It's getting a little old."
Craig Paquette homered twice, had four hits and made a nice defensive play at third to help the Tigers go ahead 7-5 -- their first eighth-inning lead since April 3 against Tampa Bay, when they lost 2-1 in 12 innings.
"I literally thought to myself, today is the day," Tigers starter Steve Sparks said. "We've got the ball bouncing our way. I thought we'd cruise through there. I thought we'd cruise through there, especially when Paquette hit that home run."
But it was Ortiz who broke a slump, not the Tigers.
A.J. Pierzynski singled off Jose Paniagua leading off in the eighth, Matt Anderson (0-1) relieved and pinch-hitter Bobby Kielty tied the game by homering on the third pitch.
"My fastball wasn't there, but we're all professionals. We've got to find something else to get them out with," Anderson said. "It's difficult, but it's 7-7 if we get out of that inning and we've got the momentum. I just couldn't shut them down after that homer."
Jacque Jones and Cristian Guzman followed with singles, Doug Mientkiewicz walked and Ortiz tripled to right for a 10-7 lead.
"Sometimes, when I face him, he tries to get me with the offspeed," he said. "That one I hit was slider."
Torii Hunter added an RBI single off Juan Acevedo, who later walked Kielty with the bases loaded and gave up Jones' sacrifice fly.
"That's a perfect example of why you have to play a full ballgame," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We were fighting and clawing pretty much the whole game to stay in it."
Detroit, which replaced manager Phil Garner with Luis Pujols after six games, is off to its worst start since going 0-13 in 1920 and the worst in the major leagues since the 1997 Chicago Cubs began 0-14. The Tigers are off Monday, then start a series at home against Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
J.C. Romero (2-0), the fifth of six Twins pitchers, got one out for the win.
Randall Simon also homered for the Tigers, who overcame a 5-2 deficit by taking a four-run lead in the sixth off Joe Mays. Simon's three-run homer tied the game, and Robert Fick drove in Paquette with a single off Jack Cressend for a 6-5 lead.
"We hit the ball well today," Pujols said. "Sparks gave us some good innings. We saw some good things (Sunday)."
With the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, Dustan Mohr hit a comebacker that bounced off one of Paniagua's legs and rebounded to Paquette, who threw to first to retire the side.
"I thought that was the break," Pujols said. "I thought, 'It's coming our way guys."'
Paquette then homered off Bob Wells leading off the eighth.
"Every game that we play, I feel we're going to win," Sparks said. "I think we played good in every game this series. We just didn't come out on top."
Matt LeCroy went 3-for-4, with a triple and two doubles for the Twins, and Doug Mientkiewicz went 3-for-4 with one RBI for the Twins.
Mays gave up six runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. Sparks allowed five runs -- just one earned -- and eight hits in six innings.
Minnesota scored four unearned runs in the third after Pierzynski's grounder went through Dmitri Young's legs at first, and second baseman Jose Macias overthrew Sparks for the second error on the play.
"It's tough, but I believe the guys played hard," Pujols said. "There's still a lot of work to do."
Notes: Twins 2B Luis Rivas has a broken left wrist and will likely miss 2-to-4 more weeks. Rivas hasn't played since being hit by a pitch from Kansas City's Dan Reichert on April 3. ... Gardenhire said OF Brian Buchanan (lower back) is making progress, but still has a while to go before making his way back into the lineup. He's eligible to come off the disabled list April 19. LeCroy's second-inning triple was the first of his career. ... Twins designated hitters had two triples, two doubles, three RBIs. ... The three-day opening weekend attendance of 91,487 was the largest opening series crowd at the Metrodome since 1993 (98,850 vs. Chicago). ... The Twins had been 0-5 when trailing after seven innings.
Box score on Page 4S
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