The Minnesota Twins starter had one of his strongest starts in recent weeks as the Twins took their second straight game against the Detroit Tigers.
The Minnesota Twins had their backs to the wall earlier in this homestand as they looked to take advantage of two teams beneath them in the American League Central standings. After dropping the first game against the Detroit Tigers on Friday night, that seemed to be in peril as the Twins were just 1-3 through the first four games of said homestand.
Things turned around on Saturday night and as the Twins took the field on Sunday with a chance to win the series against Detroit, they sent Martin Perez to the mound. Although his performance since starting the season with a 5-0 record has been abysmal, the left-hander has seemed to figure something out for the time being and delivered a strong performance as the Twins beat Detroit 7-4.
Perez began the game in dominant fashion as he picked up a pair of strikeouts with a 1-2-3 inning. As he began to use his cutter less than he was at the beginning of the season, Perez got himself out of trouble a couple times and was able to tame the Tigers’ lineup, allowing two runs in six innings of work with five hits, a walk and five strikeouts.
With Perez doing his job on the mound, the Twins lineup would do their job at the plate. Mitch Garver opened the scoring for the Twins in the third inning with an RBI double that drove in Jonathan Schoop and Nelson Cruz would follow up with an RBI groundout to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.
The Twins would add onto that lead when C.J. Cron would blast a three-run bomb for his 21st of the season in the fourth inning, giving Perez a 5-0 lead to work with.
Perez would run into trouble in the fifth inning, however, as John Hicks and Harold Castro would each drive in runs to make it 5-2. There was just too much offense from the Twins however, as Schoop would hit a laser to left field for his 18th home run of the season and expand the Twins lead up to 7-2.
Jake Cave would make a leaping grab in left field in the top of the eighth and Lewis Thorpe would struggle allowing two runs, but was able to close out the game, giving the Twins their 79th win of the season.
With the Cleveland Indians falling to the Kansas City Royals, the Twins expanded their lead in the AL Central to 3 1/2 games and have a day off before traveling to Chicago to take on the White Sox. In Tuesday night’s opener, the Twins will send Michael Pineda (9-5, 4.26 ERA) against Lucas Giolito (14-6, 3.20 ERA) for a 7:10 p.m. CDT start.