Minnesota Twins: Max Kepler completes comeback victory in Detroit
By Chris Schad
The Minnesota Twins clinched their series against the Detroit Tigers with a come from behind victory on Monday afternoon.
As the Minnesota Twins get closer to the end of their schedule, every game is going to have a postseason feel. Even as the Twins were playing the Tigers, who came into Monday’s game 54 games under .500, on Monday afternoon, the game felt important as Minnesota tries to clinch their first American League Central title since 2010.
Despite their opponents standing at the bottom of the division, the Tigers didn’t make things easy on the Twins. But, after failing to take advantage of multiple opportunities early in the game, the Twins would score a pair of runs on a Max Kepler single in the eighth inning to come away with a 4-3 victory to win the four-game series with Detroit.
Monday’s game got off to a great start even after Miguel Cabrera gave the Tigers the lead with a solo shot off Jake Odorizzi in the first inning. Ehire Adrianza had the answer for the Twins in the top of the second inning with a two-run homer for his fifth of the year to give Minnesota a 2-1 victory.
Despite the home run, the Twins couldn’t seem to take advantage of Detroit starter Jordan Zimmerman. The right-hander allowed nine hits and two earned runs in six innings of work and although the Twins had their chances, they couldn’t get the big hit to blow the game open.
That would keep the Tigers within striking distance and they would get to Odorizzi in the fifth, tying the game on an RBI single by Travis Demeritte and taking the lead on a sacrifice fly by Victor Reyes.
The Tigers would have another opportunity to add to that lead in the seventh when Reyes would double off Zack Littell. Willi Castro would beat out a ground ball in the next at-bat, but C.J. Cron had the awareness to catch a speeding Reyes to home and got out of the inning for a big third out.
With the door pried open, the Twins would get another opportunity in the eighth inning and with two outs and the bases loaded, Kepler would deliver with a single to the opposite field to plate a pair of runs to give Minnesota a 4-3 lead.
The Twins would close the game out with clean innings from Sergio Romo in the eighth and Taylor Rogers in the ninth and pick up their sixth win in seven games on this road trip.
While the Twins were able to take care of business against Detroit and the Chicago White Sox, their schedule will intensify over the next couple weeks beginning with a trip to Boston to face the Red Sox. In what could be a chance to bury a fellow postseason contender, the Twins will send Randy Dobnak to the mound for Tuesday’s opener against Rick Porcello with a 6:10 p.m. CT start.