Twins stomp Tigers 20-6
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins scored a season-high in runs and pounded out 20 hits in a 20-6 white-washing of the Detroit Tigers Friday night at Target Field.
The loss for Detroit, combined with Kansas City's 6-3 win at Texas, moved the Tigers to a season-high 2 1/2 games behind the Royals for first place in the American League Central Division standings.
But right now, the Tigers have more immediate concerns.
Detroit cycled through eight pitchers -- including infielder Andrew Romine in the ninth -- ahead of a doubleheader between the teams on Saturday and a day game Sunday.
Detroit actually led first in the game, getting a leadoff home run from second baseman Ian Kinsler to start the game.
But Minnesota rallied for six runs and sent 11 men to the plate in a marathon second inning that gave the Twins the lead for good.
It wasn't even their biggest inning of the night.
The Twins scored nine more in the sixth inning, sending 14 runners to the plate. Eight different players scored a run for Minnesota in the sixth, in a frame that tied their biggest one-inning outburst of the season.
But the fireworks display wasn't over yet.
Minnesota scored twice more in the seventh and hit back-to-back homers off Romine in the eighth to reach 20 runs for the first time since May 21, 2009.
Tigers lefty Robbie Ray (1-4) took the loss, allowing the first six runs on six hits over only 35 pitches and 1 1/3 innings.
Minnesota left-hander Tommy Milone got the start but did not last long enough for the win, getting the hook in the midst of a four-run rally by Detroit in the fifth inning. MIlone, making his third start as a Twin since being traded to Minnesota from Oakland on July 31, gave up five runs -- three earned -- on 10 hits.
Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar finished a double short of the cycle, but had a career-high five hits, knocking in two and scoring three times.
Center fielder Danny Santana and third baseman Trevor Plouffe each had three-hit nights as Santana knocked in a team-high four runs.
Escobar, Plouffe, Santana and right fielder Oswaldo Arcia all had homers. Catcher Kurt Suzuki went 0-for-6 and was the only starter to not get at least one hit for Minnesota.
Right-hander Ryan Pressly pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief and got the win, improving to 2-0.
Detroit took an early lead after second baseman Ian Kinsler hit a home run to lead off the game, his 12th of the season and first since July 3.
Minnesota took the lead with a big second, stringing together three consecutive doubles to start the inning and take a 2-1 lead. Eduardo Escobar's fourth homer of the year was a two-run shot and pushed the lead to 4-1, before a bloop single and another two-run blast, this one by center fielder Danny Santana, made it 6-1.
The home run by Santana knocked Tigers starter Robbie Ray from the game after only 35 pitches and 1 1/3 innings, allowing six earned runs on six hits.
But the Tigers got back into the game with a four-run fifth, getting help from an error by Escobar and another play to the shortstop that could have been an error.
First baseman Miguel Cabrera followed the error with a single to center, moving right fielder Torii Hunter to third. Designated hitter Victor Martinez knocked in one with a single and left fielder J.D. Martinez followed with an RBI double to make it 6-3.
Third baseman Nick Castellanos was the recipient of the infield-hit call that scored a third run ahead of a single by shortstop Eugenio Suarez and a sacrifice fly by catcher Bryan Holaday that scored the final run of the inning.
Milone was pulled following the single to Suarez, having lasted 4 2/3 innings and allowing five runs -- three earned -- on 10 hits. He struck out three.
NOTES: The Tigers were one of the teams interested in but unable to sign Cuban OF Rusney Castillo, who signed a six-year, $72 million contract with Boston. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski told MLB Network Radio that the Tigers were notified Monday by Castillo's representation that they were out of the running. ... Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler led off Friday night's game with a home run, his first homer since July 3. It was the first leadoff home run for Detroit since Sept. 22, 2012, when Austin Jackson hit one, also against Minnesota. ... The Twins entered play Friday second in Major League Baseball with 93 runs scored this month, trailing only division rival Kansas City (96).