Twins open tight game, then hold off Detroit rally to win
DETROIT — The Twins had one of the longest in-season breaks in MLB history with their five days off during the All-Star Game, and all that rest has proven to be restorative.
After entering the break 7-8 in July – including an 11-0 loss to the White Sox a week ago – the Twins eliminated Detroit 8-4 at Comerica Park on Saturday, despite an end-of-game storyline. bullpen handle. They are now 51-44 atop American League Central; while the Tigers are 38-57 and are fourth of five teams.
“We have a great opportunity ahead of us here,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said before heading into the second half of the season. “We have everything we need. We have everything planned ahead of us. Now we just have to go out there and do our part. We have to go out there and play well. But we are ready.”
The Twins loaded the bases several times against the Tigers, starting right away in the first inning. Luis Arraez, Carlos Correa and Jorge Polanco all hit former Twins starter Michael Pineda (2-6), with Arraez eventually scoring on Max Kepler’s sacrificial volley.
Correa added a solo homer in the third inning to make it 2-0, and it was the final inning for Pineda, who came out with a strained right bicep after allowing four hits with three strikeouts. .
Twins starter Joe Ryan (7-3) was pretty solid until the sixth inning, allowing a starting triple to Riley Greene, who then scored on Javier Baez’s single. Ryan made two outs on the following batters before Emilio Pagan took the mound. Ryan allowed four hits but posted seven strikeouts in 5 hits 2⁄3 sleeves.
The Twins opened play in the seventh and eighth innings. Left jabs from Alex Kirilloff and Jose Miranda, plus Kyle Garlick reached on a field error by Detroit third baseman Jeimer Candelario charged the bases. Gio Urshela launched a run on his sacrificed fly. Then Arraez hit a two RBI single to give the Twins a 5-1 lead.
Again, Detroit let the Twins load the bases to start the eighth, and another error gave the Twins a run when catcher Tucker Barnhart dropped the ball trying to tag home plate. Urshela kicked his second run on a single before Sanchez also ran a run with a fielder’s pick.
Jovani Moran came in for the eighth inning and collected the first two outs, only to walk his next two batters and hand an RBI single to Miguel Cabrera. Harold Castro followed with another RBI base hit to end Moran’s outing in favor of Trevor Megill.
Megill, however, threw a wild pitch to let another run in, cutting the Twins’ lead to 8-4.
Jhoan Duran was the last arm out of the bullpen to try to keep the victory intact. He had a one-two-three inning with one strikeout to end the game and start the season-ending push victoriously.
“We kind of control everything. We go out there and win games, we’re going to get to where we want to be and we’ll have the opportunity to play for a World Series,” Baldelli said before the game. “But it’s up to us to do our job and do it well from now on.”