Twins split doubleheader with Tigers
Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez each recorded two hits and two RBIs and Justin Verlander returned from injury to notch the win as visiting Detroit ended its three-game skid and salvaged a split of the doubleheader.
Torii Hunter, Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez each collected three hits, with the latter driving in a run, as the Tigers climbed within one game of the second wild card in the American League and three of first-place Kansas City in the AL Central. Bryan Holaday and Miguel Cabrera registered an RBI apiece while Verlander (11-11) allowed four runs on eight hits and three walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings in his first start since Aug. 11 due to shoulder inflammation.
Trevor Plouffe went 3-for-4 with two RBIs while Joe Mauer, Kennys Vargas, Kurt Suzuki and Brian Dozier each drove in a run for the Twins, who totaled 32 runs over the first two contests of the four-game series. Trevor May (0-3) surrendered five runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 frames as Minnesota had its three-game winning streak halted.
Detroit took the lead on Holaday's RBI single in the second inning, but Minnesota answered in the bottom half with a run-scoring base hit by Suzuki. J.D. Martinez singled in a run in the third to put the Tigers in front before the Twins surged ahead in their half as Plouffe delivered a two-run double two batters after Mauer forged a tie with an RBI two-base hit.
The Tigers got within 4-3 with a run in the fifth and grabbed the advantage on Suarez's two-run single an inning later. Castellanos added insurance in the seventh with a two-run single and Cabrera plated another run in the eighth with a base hit while Joe Nathan yielded Dozier's RBI double in the ninth before recording his 27th save.
Rookie Kennys Vargas logged his third consecutive multi-hit contest and knocked in a career-high five runs as host Minnesota cruised past struggling Detroit in the first game of a doubleheader.
Eduardo Escobar had three hits, Joe Mauer and Jordan Schafer each drove in three and Brian Dozier scored three times for the Twins, who have posted a major-league high 125 runs in 21 August contests after managing 99 in 26 games during July. Yohan Pino (2-5) notched his second career victory and halted a five-game winless streak, yielding four runs (one earned) and six hits over five innings.
Buck Farmer (0-1) was pummeled in his second career start, giving up seven runs while recording only four outs. Ezequiel Carrera and Nick Castellanos each finished with two hits and an RBI for the Tigers, who have been outscored 38-18 in the series but remained three games behind Kansas City in the American League Central and one back of Seattle for the second wild-card spot in the AL after winning the second game 8-6.
Mauer singled Dozier home from first on a hit-and-run play in the opening frame and, after a run-scoring double from Castellanos in the top of the second inning, each of the Twins' first four hitters reached base in the bottom half as Schafer capped the surge with a bases-clearing triple to right-center. Moments later, Dozier drew a walk and Mauer plated two with a double down the left-field line to end Farmer's outing.
Patrick McCoy came on in relief and fared no better, surrendering Vargas' RBI double to cap Minnesota's six-run second before allowing Dozier's run-scoring double in the third. The Tigers closed to within 9-4 in the fifth on three straight RBI singles, but Vargas got all those runs back in the seventh with a three-run double.