DETROIT (AP) Glen Perkins crouched in front of the mound with his head down, trying to come to terms with a home run that put a bit of a dent in Minnesota’s playoff chances.
Rajai Davis hit a two-run shot off Perkins in the eighth inning, and the Detroit Tigers rallied for a 6-4 victory over the Twins on Friday night. It was the type of loss Minnesota may look back on if it doesn’t make the postseason. The Twins trail Houston by 1 1/2 games for the second wild card in the American League, and they were up 4-1 in the seventh against the sub-.500 Tigers before the bullpen gave away the lead.
”I’m at a loss for words,” Perkins said. ”The whole second half of the season has been torture for me, because I know that if I pitch the way I’m capable of pitching, we’ve either clinched a playoff spot or we’re in a much better position.”
Victor Martinez tied it with a two-run double off Perkins in the seventh, and Perkins (2-5) also allowed Davis’ opposite-field homer to right an inning later. Since July 18, Perkins is 2-4 with a 7.79 ERA. He missed time earlier this month with a bad back.
The Tigers outhit Minnesota 13-2. Alex Wilson (3-3) got the win in relief, and Neftali Feliz pitched the ninth for his ninth save.
The Twins took the lead in the fifth on their first hit of the game. After Minnesota loaded the bases on two walks and an error, Eddie Rosario hit a drive to right that hit a young fan’s glove at the top of the high wall in right-center. The glove fell all the way to the ground, and the ball stayed in play. All three runners scored and Rosario ended up on third.
After a review, umpires called fan interference, but ruled that Rosario should stay on third. He became the first rookie to have 15 triples in a season since Ray Lankford of St. Louis in 1991.
Rosario eventually scored from third on an unusual sacrifice fly to make it 4-0. He tagged up and came home on a popup to second baseman Ian Kinsler, who made the catch on the outfield grass. Kinsler’s throw was in time but bounced past catcher James McCann.
With two out in the seventh and the Tigers down by three, Kinsler hit a drive to center that bounced over the wall for an RBI double. With men on second and third, Perkins came on and walked Miguel Cabrera before allowing Martinez’s tying double.
”This one hurts,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ”We had it set up fairly well with nine outs to go, and we didn’t finish it off.”
Detroit starter Matt Boyd allowed two earned runs and one hit in six innings. Minnesota’s Mike Pelfrey gave up one run and six hits in five innings, striking out seven.
The Twins are now 1-6 at Detroit this season. That includes a three-game sweep to start the season in which Minnesota was outscored 22-1.
Rosario’s contributions on the night weren’t limited to offense. He also threw out J.D. Martinez at third in the second inning, his 16th assist of the year. He’s the first player with at least 15 triples and 15 outfield assists in the same season since Johnny Callison of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1965, according to STATS.
The Tigers acquired Boyd when they traded David Price to Toronto shortly before the deadline. The 24-year-old left-hander has allowed three hits or fewer in three straight starts.
”I felt great today,” Boyd said. ”I wish I had two batters back – the first two of the fifth inning. That’s what it came down to. That’s completely on me. That started the big inning.”
Twins: RHP Ricky Nolasco was reinstated from the 60-day DL after a nearly four-month stint following an ankle injury. Molitor said he’s not sure how the 32-year-old Nolasco will be used.
Tigers: SS Andrew Romine left the game in the fifth inning with right groin soreness. … Manager Brad Ausmus said he’d hold out hope that SS Jose Iglesias (right middle finger) might be able to swing a bat in the next couple days, but he’d be shocked if that happens.
Minnesota sends Tyler Duffey (4-1) to the mound Saturday night against Detroit’s Alfredo Simon (13-10).
Feliz’s save total was corrected in a previous version of this story.