Kyle Lohse (2-4, 8.92), the embattled starter off to a terrible start this season, was sent to Triple-A Rochester to pitch in the minors for the first time since joining the Twins' rotation during the 2001 season. The move came two days after the Twins demoted Carlos Silva (2-6, 8.80) to the bullpen.
Replacing those two are the minor league pitchers the team acquired along with Joe Nathan in the November 2003 trade with the Giants for catcher A.J. Pierzynski -- Francisco Liriano, who starts in place of Silva on Friday, and Boof Bonser, who starts for Lohse on Sunday.
Bonser, who led the International League with 168 strikeouts last year, is 3-2, 2.01 at Rochester this year.
"We have to get better starting pitching, and the only way I know to do that is to keep moving guys around," manager Ron Gardenhire said.
"It's about a 9.00 ERA and not getting people out," he added of Lohse. "I guess if you go back to old-school baseball, that's old-school baseball. You're not getting it done; you go back (to the minors). A lot more is involved these days, but this is the bottom line here: We're trying to win."
REPLAY: The Twins finally got the starting pitching they've craved since Johan Santana last pitched, and it came from -- who else -- Santana. But despite 7 2/3 innings of shutout pitching, Santana (4-4) was tagged with the loss when Detroit catcher Vance Wilson hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth for a 2-0 Tigers victory.
That sent the Twins to their fourth straight loss and sent Santana into the loss column for the first time since April 21 at Chicago. He took a three-hit shutout into the eighth and lost despite striking out 12 and walking none.