The Minnesota Twins struggled through the first couple innings, but a five-run fifth inning helped even their series with the Detroit Tigers.
The Minnesota Twins will not get any style points for their victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night, but the main thing was they were able to get the job done. One night after a frustrating loss to the team with the worst record in baseball, the Twins rebounded from a slow start and evened their series with the Tigers with an 8-5 victory at Target Field.
Things didn’t look great for the Twins out of the gate despite Max Kepler leading off the game with his 36th home run in the bottom of the first inning. Kyle Gibson took the ball for Minnesota and did his typical routine, nibbling around the strike zone and getting tagged when he threw a pitch over the plate.
Detroit would expand the lead in the top of the fourth as some sloppy play would load the bases for Ronny Rodriguez. The Tigers’ second baseman would deliver with an RBI single that would score a pair of runs and it appeared that Detroit had the Twins’ number for the second straight night with a 4-1 lead.
Things didn’t look good for the Twins as Edwin Jackson, who came into the game with an ERA of 8.70, kept the Twins bats quiet after Kepler’s leadoff bomb. However, just like in Friday’s game, Saturday would turn with a big inning.
While the Tigers were the beneficiaries on Friday night, the Twins would strike for five runs in the bottom of the fifth. Kepler would deliver an RBI double and Nelson Cruz would hit an RBI single before Miguel Sano would come through with the big blow in the form of a three-run homer that was his 26th of the year and put the Twins ahead 6-4.
The Tigers would answer by scoring a run in the top of the sixth, but the bullpen would come in and close things out with another rough performance by Sergio Romo being the only hiccup. After Jake Cave added insurance with his fifth home run of the season and third this weekend, Taylor Rogers would come in midway through the eighth inning and shut Detroit out the rest of the way to preserve the 8-5 win.
Despite the victory, the Twins weren’t able to build on their lead in the American League Central as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Kansas City Royals for the second straight day. It does put the Twins in the position to take the series against the Tigers, however, which they will try to do on Sunday afternoon.
The Twins will send Martin Perez (8-5, 4.60 ERA) to the mound for the rubber game while the Tigers will send Matthew Boyd (6-9, 4.24 ERA). Sunday’s game is scheduled for a 1:10 p.m. first pitch at Target Field.