Rival watch: Detroit falls to Minnesota 7-6, Tribe trails by only 5 games
DETROIT (AP) — Chris Herrmann’s second RBI double of the game broke an eighth-inning tie and helped the Minnesota Twins to a 7-6 win over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.
With two out, Herrmann lined a ball into the right-center field gap. Center fielder Austin Jackson got a bad break on the ball, and just missed while attempting a shoestring catch. Doug Bernier scored from second to give the Twins the lead.
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Jared Burton pitched a scoreless eighth, and Glen Perkins got through the middle of the Tigers order in the ninth for his 30th save in 33 chances.
Casey Fien (3-2) earned the win. Bruce Rondon (1-2) took the loss.
Detroit had trailed 6-2 going into the bottom of the sixth, but rallied to tie it on Jackson’s three-run homer. That allowed Justin Verlander to extend his unbeaten streak against the Twins to 11 starts, despite allowing six runs and 10 hits in seven innings.
Twins starter Andrew Albers escaped several jams with his assortment of slow and slower pitches, but ran out of gas in the sixth. Throwing a fastball in the mid-80s, a changeup in the 70s and a slow curve, Albers gave up five runs, nine hits and a walk in 5 2-3 innings.
The Twins needed only eight pitches to take the lead. Brian Dozier just missed a homer on Verlander’s second pitch — the ball hooking just outside of the foul pole — and then singled. Herrmann followed with an RBI double, but Verlander escaped without further trouble.
Detroit killed its own rally in the second inning on a baserunning mistake by Prince Fielder. After lining a ball into the left-center field gap, Fielder tried to stretch the hit into a double, even though Clete Thomas had cut the ball off easily.
Thomas threw to second, and Brian Dozier spun to make a quick tag, only to realize that Fielder was still 20 feet away.
Bryan Holaday tied it in the third with his first career homer, a long drive over the bullpens in left. It also marked Holaday’s first career RBI in his 16th game. Fielder made it 2-1 with an RBI single later in the inning, barely rounding first base before retreating to the bag.
Former Tigers player Wilkin Ramirez got the Twins even in the fourth with a check-swing RBI bloop single, and Ryan Doumit hit a three-run homer over the right-center field video board to give Minnesota a 5-2 lead in the fifth. It was Doumit’s second straight hit against Verlander after an 0-for-12 stretch to start his career.
Holaday beat out an infield single for his second career RBI in the sixth, chasing Albers. Jackson tied the game with a shot off Josh Roenicke’s second pitch.
NOTES: Verlander hadn’t allowed six earned runs to the Twins since June 29, 2007 — a span of 19 starts. He hasn’t lost to them since April 27, 2010. … The Twins said they will recall pitcher Liam Hendriks on Saturday to start in Cleveland. Hendriks has spent most of the season with Triple-A Rochester, but has gone 0-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts for the Twins. … C Alex Avila will begin a rehab stint with Triple-A Toledo on Thursday as he continues to recover from a concussion. … C Joe Mauer, on the 7-day concussion list, was cleared by a Tigers team doctor to fly back to Minnesota on Thursday night.