Minnesota Twins rally, rout Detroit Tigers

By Rich Shook, The Sports Xchange  |  Sept. 23, 2017 at 10:01 PM
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DETROIT -- Zach Granite's three-run homer capped an eight-run eighth inning Saturday night that powered the Minnesota Twins to a come-from-behind 10-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers, who dropped their sixth straight game.

Ervin Santana (16-8) gave up four straight hits at the start of the game but just three thereafter in his seven innings, during which he struck out five and didn't walk a batter. Santana retired 18 of 20 after the first inning.

Alan Busenitz pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and Gabriel Moya the ninth to finish the win and keep Minnesota's lead in the American League second wild-card chase at a minimum 3 1/2 games over the late-playing Texas Rangers. Moya gave up Efren Navarro's second home run of the game leading off the ninth.

Tigers reliever Alex Wilson took a line drive single by Joe Mauer off his right leg to start the eighth, threw one warm-up pitch and crumpled to the ground. He limped off the field with help and was replaced by Daniel Stumpf. X-Rays showed a non-displaced fracture of Wilson's lower right leg.

Jorge Polanco greeted Stumpf (0-1) with a single to right and Eddie Rosario forged a 3-3 tie with a single to left. Eduardo Escobar blooped an RBI single into right center to put Minnesota ahead, 4-3.

Reliever Joe Jimenez hit a batter and caught a line drive before giving up a two-run line single to center by Robbie Grossman, making it 6-3. The Twins got another run on a groundout to second by Jason Castro.

Granite, who pinch-ran for Mauer earlier in the inning, completed the eight-run inning by hitting his first major league home run, off Blaine Hardy. Granite's three-run blast went to right field.

The Twins cut the gap to 3-2 and chased Matthew Boyd in the seventh. Ehire Adrianza, an early sub for injured Max Kepler, doubled to left center with one out and scored when Grossman followed with a single.

Boyd, in his first start since his near no-hitter Sunday, lasted 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts. The first run he allowed was unearned.

Navarro entered the game when Miguel Cabrera left after one inning with a lower back strain. He cranked a high changeup into the seats in right for his first home run to put the Tigers ahead, 3-1, with one out in the sixth.

Detroit opened its half of the first with four straight hits good for a 2-1 lead against Santana. Ian Kinsler doubled to right and scored on a ground single to right by Alex Presley. Cabrera blooped a single near the line in right and Nicholas Castellanos plopped an RBI single into short left.

Brian Dozier gave Minnesota a 1-0 to open the game with a bunt single to third on which he ended up scoring when Jeimer Candelario threw the ball past first for a three-base error. The error was his fourth in nine games.

NOTES: Tigers OF Mikie Mahtook's return this season is doubtful after he was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain suffered Friday night, a recurrence of an injury that struck him earlier this month. ... Twins manager Paul Molitor says RHP Bartolo Colon is set to open Minnesota's three-game series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. ... RHP Jeff Ferrell of Detroit, struck on the head by a line drive Monday night, remains in MLB's concussion protocol with no time set for a possible return. ... RF Max Kepler was removed from Saturday night's game after one inning and being examined for a left hip injury.

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