MINNEAPOLIS – Torii Hunter’s first career home run came with the Minnesota Twins against Detroit at Tiger Stadium. On Sunday, he reached another career milestone with home run No. 300, this time at Target Field against the Twins as a member of the Tigers.
Hunter added a double and drove in three runs for the Tigers, who beat Minnesota 5-2.
The homer was Hunter’s third this season and his first since hitting No. 299 against the Twins on May 26.
It’s special, Hunter said. I just wanted one. To get 300 home runs in the major leagues this is a tough game to play.
Hunter provided plenty of support for Doug Fister (6-4), who held Minnesota hitless until the sixth inning.
The right-hander didn’t give up a base runner until walking Ryan Doumit with two outs in the fourth inning, then lost his no-hit bid when Brian Dozier led off the sixth with a homer.
Fister gave up two runs and two hits – both to Dozier – in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out seven, walked two and won for the first time in his last six starts.
They hit a lot of balls hard, Fister said.
Luckily for me it was right at guys.
Joaquin Benoit pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, earning his fourth save.
P.J. Walters (2-2) gave up four runs on nine hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Minnesota tried to rally with two outs in the eighth as Dozier doubled and Pedro Florimon walked to chase Fister after 110 pitches. Clete Thomas followed with an RBI single off Benoit, but Joe Mauer flied out, stranding a pair of runners.
Benoit pitched a perfect ninth. Regular Tigers closer Jose Valverde warmed up alongside Benoit in the eighth, though he pitched in a non-save situation on Friday and blew his last save opportunity Wednesday at Kansas City.
Benoit had a little better repertoire for the hitters that were coming up for the Twins, Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.
That’s why I decided to stay with him.