Ober throws 6 solid innings as Twins stop 5-game slide by edging Tigers 4-3

Updated Apr. 20, 2024 5:44 p.m. ET

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Bailey Ober pitched six solid innings, and the Minnesota Twins stopped a five-game slide by edging the Detroit Tigers 4-3 on Saturday.

Byron Buxton and Austin Martin each had two hits for Minnesota, which scored three runs on sacrifice flies.

Wenceel Pérez, Javier Báez and Kerry Carpenter each drove in a run for Detroit. Matt Vierling had two of the Tigers’ five hits.

Ober (1-1) struck out six and walked one. He retired his first 13 batters, and his streak of shutout innings reached 15 before Pérez’s RBI triple in the sixth.


“We had to work for the win and that feels good. We went out there and did some really positive things and those things started with Bailey on the mound,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.

The 6-foot-9 right-hander has allowed eight hits and two earned runs in 16 innings over three starts since he was rocked for eight runs in 1 1/3 innings in his first outing on March 31.

“I had a coach in college that used to say you’re only as good as your last outing,” Ober said. “I have been following that a lot recently, but after you have that first outing, you kind of think about it, like, ‘Oh, you don’t want to be known as that.’ I kind of looked at it a little bit. And in my head, I’ve been thinking you’re only as good as your next outing.”

Minnesota’s bullpen nearly wasted Ober’s start.

Báez made it 4-2 when he doubled home Vierling in the seventh. But Cole Sands limited the damage by retiring Parker Meadows on a popup to third and striking out pinch-hitter Mark Canha.

Carpenter’s eighth-inning single off Kody Funderburk got the Tigers within one, but Matt Bowman retired Vierling to end the inning.

Griffin Jax tossed a scoreless ninth for his second save. Meadows flew out to the warning track for the final out.

“He hits that in the summer it’s probably gone,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said.

Reese Olson (0-3) allowed five hits in five innings for the Tigers, striking out four. Just two of the four runs he allowed were earned. Detroit has allowed at least two unearned runs in four straight games.

A couple of fifth-inning infield errors put the Twins up 4-0.

Martin reached on a throwing error by Báez to start the inning and scored three hitters later on a miscue by Spencer Torkelson that could have been an inning-ending double play. A sacrifice fly by Trevor Larnach scored Ryan Jeffers.

“When you got a team over there that’s definitely not hitting well, you can’t give them free bases, It’s the big leagues, they’re going to capitalize on them regardless,” Torkelson said.

Minnesota is hitting .194 as a team.

Willi Castro hit a sacrifice fly in the second, and Jeffers had one in the third.


Tigers: 3B Gio Urshela was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain. INF Buddy Kennedy was recalled from Triple-A Toledo.

Twins: RHP Daniel Duarte will have season-ending elbow surgery on May 8 with Dr. Keith Meister. ... Athletic trainer Nick Paparesta said SS Carlos Correa, sidelined by a mild intercostal strain, has been making good rehab progress and is expected to begin some baseball activity next week. ... Closer Jhoan Duran (right oblique strain) is expected to pitch at Triple-A next week.


The three-game series concludes Sunday with Detroit’s Casey Mize (0-0, 4.11 ERA) and Minnesota’s Louie Varland (0-3, 8.36 ERA) taking the mound.


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