Andrew Romine came feet first, then Jose Iglesias dove in with his left arm sweeping across the plate.
Both Detroit runners were safe on close plays at home in the seventh inning, helping the Tigers rally for an important win.
”We’re good sliders,” Romine joked afterward.
Twins manager Paul Molitor on the two close plays:
Miguel Cabrera and Ian Kinsler homered, and the Tigers scored two runs in the seventh on those slides at the plate in a 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night. Detroit pulled within a game of Baltimore for the American League’s second wild card.
With the Tigers down 2-1 in the seventh, Romine walked and Iglesias hit a double to the corner in left field. Romine was waved around, and he made it home right as the relay was arriving. Catcher Kurt Suzuki had to move to his left to catch the throw, and he lunged back as Romine stretched his left leg toward the plate.
He was called safe, and the run stood after a review. Iglesias moved up to third on the play at home.
”For me, that was the most important play of the whole thing,” Iglesias said. ”Read the ball and get to third base on that.”
Kinsler flied out to center, Iglesias tagged up, and Suzuki had to reach to his right this time to receive Byron Buxton’s throw home. Iglesias reached his left arm toward the plate and scored to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead.
Shane Greene (4-4) got the win in relief, and Bruce Rondon worked out of a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth. Cabrera’s homer in the bottom of the eighth gave Detroit an insurance run.
Francisco Rodriguez walked two in the ninth but held on for his 41st save in 45 chances.
Brian Dozier hit his 40th homer, and Suzuki also went deep for the Twins.
Alex Wimmers (1-2) took the loss.
Daniel Norris struck out a career-high 11 in 6 1/3 innings for the Tigers. Kinsler led off the bottom of the first with his 26th homer of the season, but solo shots by Dozier and Suzuki gave the Twins a 2-1 lead.
Cabrera’s home run was his 32nd of the year.
Ervin Santana allowed one run and three hits in five innings for the Twins. He was lifted after throwing 95 pitches.
”I felt great, but I was at 95 pitches so if anyone gets on, I’m out of the game,” Santana said. ”It made more sense to start the inning with a fresh arm.”
Dozier extended his hitting streak to 16 games. He now has 33 home runs in his last 76 games and is the second Minnesota player to reach 40 in a season. Harmon Killebrew was the other. He did it most recently in 1970.
”I’m sure when the season is over, it will mean a lot more, but I just wish this was happening in (first-place) Cleveland’s position or Detroit’s position, where we were making a run,” Dozier said. ”We’re still looking at losing 100 games. … That takes something away from this.”