The Minnesota Twins went into Saturday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers just 1-3 on the week’s homestand against some of the bottom dwellers in the AL Central. It looked early on as if the Twins would fall again after falling behind, but a five-run fifth with a crucial three-run home run by Miguel Sano helped Minnesota take a 8-5 win over Detroit.
For the sixth time this season, Max Kepler gave the Twins a jolt to start the game with a leadoff home run. It was his 35th of the year as a whole, but Minnesota couldn’t use the spark to jumpstart more offense in the early innings. The Twins didn’t put a runner in scoring position until the fifth inning, and the Tigers took the lead in the meantime.
Twins starter Kyle Gibson gave up four runs in a two-inning span from the third to the fourth, and suffered from a bit of bad luck along the way. After Dawel Lugo led off the third with a home run, Minnesota second baseman Luis Arraez let a ball through his legs en route to the Tigers loading the bases with nobody out. The Tigers got the lead later in the inning on a Ronny Rodriguez sacrifice fly — an unearned run – before Gibson got out of the jam with limited damage. In the fourth, the Twins had Lugo caught between third and home at the end of what was already an RBI single by Victor Reyes, but the Twins misplayed the throws and Dawel snuck a hand around Mitch Garver’s tag at the plate. Gibson finished with four earned runs allowed in five and a third innings.
Down 4-1 in the fifth, the Twins found themselves looking at their fourth disappointing home loss in five games. Miguel Sano changed that. After a pair of doubles started the inning and cut the lead to 4-2, Jorge Polanco and Nelson Cruz singled to score another run and put the go-ahead runner at first with the tying run at third. Sano came up with two away, and blasted a three-run home run into the left field bleachers. The shot erupted Target Field and put Minnesota up 6-4.
Detroit responded with a run in the top of the sixth and cut the lead to one, but Minnesota’s sluggers weren’t finished slugging. Jake Cave hit a two-run homer to straightaway center in the bottom half, giving the Twins some wiggle room.
Minnesota used it’s it’s designated set up men and closer to finish the win. Sam Dyson finished the sixth for Gibson and then pitched a scoreless seventh. Fellow trade deadline add Sergio Romo started the eighth, but gave up a hit and a walk with just one out to show for it. Taylor Rogers bailed out Dyson by pitching the final inning and two-thirds without giving up a hit and recording three strikeouts.
The Twins are back at Target Field against the Tigers for a rubber game tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 p.m. As always, you can hear the game on KATE.
Posted: Nate Dickinson