- Associated Press - Saturday, June 14, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Despite falling a single short of hitting for the cycle in front of his childhood idol, Eugenio Suarez still had a memorable game.

Playing in just his eighth career game, Suarez had a double, triple, homer, two RBIs and scored three runs in Detroit’s 12-9 victory Saturday. He grounded into a force out in the eighth inning, ending his bid for the cycle.

Making it even better, former Tigers star Magglio Ordonez was watching from a Comerica Park suite. Suarez grew up in Venezuela with Ordonez as his favorite player, and wears the same No. 30 jersey.

“I didn’t know I was ready to have a game like that,” Suarez said. “It was great to have the chance at the cycle, even if I didn’t get it, but it was more special because Magglio was here.”

The 22-year-old Suarez started the season in Double-A, and only got 12 games at Triple-A before coming up to the Tigers early this month. He’s hitting .400 with three homers in the big leagues.

“We knew that he had some power, but we didn’t expect him to come out like this,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “He’s become a major part of our offense a lot faster than we expected.”

One of Detroit’s veteran leaders, Victor Martinez, is also surprised at the way Suarez has arrived in the majors.

“He’s been playing great for us, both on offense and defense,” Martinez said. “When I came up to the majors, it took me a while to adjust and get into a rhythm, but he has just stepped right up.”

Suarez led off Detroit’s seven-run third inning with a homer and added an RBI double before it was over, but the Tigers had to hold on after jumping out to an 11-1 lead. The Twins scored eight runs in the final three innings against a slumping Tigers bullpen.

“We’ve got to be able to finish off games better than that,” Ausmus said. “We had to get our top two guys up, and we used almost everyone else. That can’t happen.”

Ian Krol got his first major league save by getting the last four outs, but also gave up a two-run homer.

“I’ve never been part of anything like that,” said Krol, whose only other professional save came in Double-A.

Detroit came into the game having lost 17 of 24 after a fast start to the season, but it was helped by another strong pitching performance. Anibal Sanchez (3-2) was charged with three runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Sanchez, Drew Smyly and Max Scherzer have combined for a 1.69 ERA in Detroit’s last three games.

Sanchez was in complete control before he walked the leadoff hitter in the seventh and allowed a one-out RBI triple to Eduardo Nunez. Evan Reed then came in, and Nunez scored on a passed ball.

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