MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The return of manager Phil Garner and third baseman Dean Palmer didn't help the Detroit Tigers.
The strong performance of Mark Redman may help Twins manager Tom Kelly decide on his fifth starter.
Redman pitched seven strong innings as Minnesota beat Detroit 6-1 Saturday night in the first game following the end of a pair of eight-game suspensions imposed on the Tigers.
''Redman certain set a good tone for us,'' said Kelly, who has been searching for a fifth starter since spring training. ''I can't say enough about him. He was very impressive. Maybe he wants to step up to be a starter. That would certainly make me look smart.''
Garner and Palmer were penalized by the commissioner's office for their roles in a bench-clearing brawl against the Chicago White Sox on April 22.
''I'm glad to be back, but as bad as sitting out was, losing's worse,'' Garner said.
Palmer went 1-for-4 and committed a two-out error on Cristian Guzman's routine grounder in the fourth, leading to the Twins' third run.
Detroit's Juan Encarnacion extended his major league-leading hitting streak to 18 games with an infield single in the sixth inning.
''I can't complain about it,'' Encarnacion said. ''I get one hit at least every day and if I can help my team, I'm happy.''
Butch Huskey was 3-for-4 with three singles for the Twins, and Matt Lawton had a two-run double in a three-run seventh.
Redman (2-0), making his first start this season and the second of his career, allowed one run and eight hits, striking out six and walking none.
''I was glad to go out and pitch seven strong innings,'' said Redman, who made his only other big league start last July 24 against Seattle. ''If you can do that, you give your team a chance to win. My job today was to fill that fifth position as a starter and I was glad TK gave me the opportunity.''
Redman got out of a jam in the sixth. After back-to-back singles by Encarnacion and Juan Gonzalez, Palmer singled to left, and the ball took a bad hop off the chest of outfielder Denny Hocking.
He recovered in time to throw out Encarnacion at the plate, preserving a 3-1 lead. One batter later, Bobby Higginson hit a sharp liner over shortstop, but Guzman leaped high to nab the ball and catch Palmer off second for an inning-ending double play.
Instead of a possible 3-3 game, it was still 3-1. Lawton followed with a two-run double one inning later.
''If he doesn't throw me out, we have a run and two guys on with no outs,'' Encarnacion said. ''That's the key to the game right there.''
Detroit starter C.J. Nitkowski (1-6), winless in four starts since April 14, allowed six runs -- five earned -- seven hits and four walks in 6 1-3 innings.
He balked home Minnesota's first run in the second with Huskey on third. Jason Maxwell's RBI single and Palmer's error made it 3-0 in the fourth.
Deivi Cruz hit an RBI grounder in the fifth following Wendell Magee's double for Detroit's only run.
Notes: Magee left in the seventh with a finger injury sustained when he slid into second base in the fifth on his double. ... After not facing a left-handed starter in the first 12 games of the season, Detroit faced its eighth in 15 games. ... The Tigers were 4-4 under interim manager Bob Melvin during Garner's absence. ... Kelly needs one win to reach 1,000. ... Twins catcher Matt LeCroy caught a foul ball off the speaker behind home plate in the third inning; on Friday night he was unable to do the same and Higginson homered two pitches later. ... Hunter lost a ball to center in the ceiling in the second, resulting in a double for Higginson.
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