- Associated Press - Saturday, April 26, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Control hadn’t been much of a problem for the Detroit Tigers‘ staff until Saturday at Minnesota.

Four Tigers pitchers walked a combined eight batters, five in the Twins’ four-run fifth inning that led to a 5-3 win.

In their first 20 games, the Tigers‘ staff had walked an American League-low 52 batters. They hadn’t had more than five in any single game.

A walk to Joe Mauer in the fifth inning with the bases loaded tied the game, and Trevor Plouffe followed with a two-run single up the middle to give Minnesota the lead.

“It was a bad couple of innings in terms of walks,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, who had to go to his bullpen early when starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez developed a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand.

Phil Hughes allowed two first-inning runs and stopped the Tigers from there and Josmil Pinto hit his fifth homer of the season in the Twins' fourth win in their past six games.

“It was good, I was able to settle down pretty quick and get on a little bit of a roll, which was nice,” said Hughes, who allowed four hits with six strikeouts and no walks in seven innings.

Sanchez appeared to be cruising when he had to leave the game with two outs in the third inning. He hadn’t allowed a hit and struck out two with two walks.

“I never got a blister like that before,” Sanchez said. “I felt my skin moving, when I saw the blood on my finger, I tried to get out of the inning. But, no chance.”

Manager Brad Ausmus had little choice when he took a look at the injury.

“As soon as I went out there and saw it I was caught between throwing up and pulling him out of the game,” said Ausmus. “It looked gross.”

Jose Ortega, who had just arrived from Triple-A Toledo, and Phil Coke then combined to walk six Twins batters - five in the fifth.

A throwing error by catcher Bryan Holaday and a bases-loaded walk by Coke allowed Minnesota to tie the game in the fifth without a hit.

Plouffe’s two-run single snapped a 2-2 tie and Pinto’s homer off Al Albuquerque in the eighth provided an insurance run.

“It was a tough spot for the entire bullpen,” Ausmus said. “We were a little bit strapped going into today as it was. Sanchez’s injury straps us even more.”

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