|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, August 11, 2017
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan Attendance: 29,733
Rosario, Kepler power Twins past Tigers
(TSX / STATS) -- DETROIT -- Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler put baseballs out of play but it was a pair that Byron Buxton and Kepler kept off the field and out of the stands that kept the Minnesota Twins rolling.
Rosario and Kepler each hit home runs that drove in a total of five runs Friday night and powered the Twins to a 9-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers that was their sixth win in a row.
Buxton made a spectacular catch in right-center near the wall that denied Miguel Cabrera of a double or a triple for the second out of the fourth inning with Minnesota protecting a 3-1 lead.
Kepler went back to the right-field fence and made a nifty catch of pinch-hitter John Hicks' liner, turning it into an inning- and threat-ending double play in the eighth. Detroit's Nicholas Castellanos foolishly tried to tag up and advance to third on the out but was cut down on Kepler's throw to Brian Dozier and relay to Eduardo Escobar.
"I do my best to defend guys," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said, "but I can't defend that. I don't know what was going through Nick's head right there. It makes no sense to me."
"The defense was big," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "Buck (center fielder Buxton) got turned around on the (Cabrera) ball, the spin kind of brought it back to his other shoulder and somehow he made the adjustment, which was phenomenal.
"The ball Hicks hit out to right, it just kept carrying. Somehow Kep tracked it down and made a play with the ball creeping up on him. So that was huge. The game's still in balance. It wasn't a comfortable game by any means."
"That's a game-saving catch," Buxton said of Kepler's play. "It got us out of a tough inning."
Ryan Pressly (2-2) picked up the win after starter Kyle Gibson was unable to get the final out of the fifth inning. He retired all four batters he faced.
"It's fun watching all of our outfielders play," Gibson said. "We're pretty confident in who we are and who we have in here in our locker room."
Trevor Hildenberger gave up three straight two-out singles in the seventh, the last by Justin Upton, to produce the Tigers' fourth run. Taylor Rogers kept Detroit scoreless in the eighth and Tyler Duffey worked a 1-2-3 ninth to close out the game.
Joe Mauer, who along with Rosario and Kepler had three hits, roped a two-run single to right in the ninth to make it 9-4.
Anibal Sanchez (3-3) gave up both home runs, with the Twins also getting runs off relievers Daniel Stumpf and Alex Wilson in the seventh. Stumpf allowed a one-out single to Jason Castro, and Wilson gave up an RBI triple to Dozier and single to right by Kepler to put Minnesota up 7-3.
"I thought he pitched pretty well," Ausmus said of his starter, "but those two mistakes turned into five runs, and that puts us into a big hole. They were both two-seamers up. The one to Kepler was in, and that was a nice swing, but the one to Rosario was away."
Detroit has lost six of its last seven games.
Andrew Romine walked and scored on a double to left by Jose Iglesias with one out in the fifth to get Detroit within 5-2. A wild pitch and Upton's two-out ground single to center made it 5-3 and drove out Gibson. Reliever Pressly got Miguel Cabrera to pop out to right to end the threat.
Kepler belted a 2-2 fastball over the wall in right after Dozier beat out a topped two-out roller to third for a single. It was the 21st home run thrown allowed by Sanchez this season in 75 1/3 innings. The Twins took a 5-1 lead.
Rosario wiped out a 1-0 Detroit lead with a three-run home run with one out in the fourth inning. Mauer and Miguel Sano both singled with one out and Rosario lined his 15th home run into Detroit's bullpen.
"Rosie's hit was big and we took advantage of Dozier's swinging bunt," Molitor said. "I thought we were fortunate to get a baserunner with two outs and Kep capitalized with the two-run homer."
The Tigers got off to a 1-0 start with one out in the first when Mikie Mahtook lined his eighth home run over the fence in left-center.
NOTES: RHP Michael Fulmer threw a 20-pitch bullpen Friday and could start Monday for Detroit in Texas if he comes out with no more irritation to his ulnar nerve. ... LHP Dietrich Enns, who made his first major league start Thursday for Minnesota, will make his second start sometime between Wednesday and Saturday, manager Paul Molitor said. ... Tigers LHP Daniel Norris (quad, hamstring) threw a two-inning simulated game at Toledo on Friday and will begin a rehab stint with the Mud Hens if he feels okay this weekend. ... Twins LHP Glen Perkins made the first of three rehab appearances Thursday for Double-A Chattanooga, allowing one hit in a scoreless inning.
Updated August 11, 2017