Miguel Cabrera’s homer broke a seventh-inning tie, and the Detroit Tigers rallied for a crucial 9-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.
The Tigers trailed 5-2 in the fourth inning, but came from behind to pull one game behind Toronto for the second AL wild card.
Ian Kinsler had four hits, finishing a homer short of the cycle, and drove in three runs while scoring two. Brian Dozier and Kurt Suzuki homered for the Twins.
Both starting pitchers made early exits. Minnesota’s Tyler Duffey allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings, while Anibal Sanchez gave up six in four-plus.
Shane Greene (5-4) got the win, while Ryan Pressly (6-7) took the loss after surrendering Cabrera’s homer.
Bruce Rondon pitched the eighth for Detroit, while Francisco Rodriguez put up a perfect ninth for his 42nd save.
After Sanchez struck out the side in the first, Kinsler and Cameron Maybin gave the Tigers the lead with back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the inning. Kinsler’s RBI single in the second doubled the lead.
Sanchez retired the first nine batters in order, but Dozier launched his first pitch of the fourth into the left-field stands for his 41st homer. The next three batters singled, with Kennys Vargas driving home Jorge Polanco to tie the game.
Suzuki then made it 5-2 with a homer down the left-field line, but the Tigers came back in the bottom of the inning. Andrew Romine had an RBI single before Kinsler and Maybin hit back-to-back triples to tie the game.
J.T. Chargois replaced Duffey and allowed a tiebreaking single to Cabrera, but Sanchez couldn’t hold the lead. He walked Byron Buxton to start the fifth and Dozier followed with a double to make it 6-6.
Alex Wilson got out of the inning without further damage, and the two bullpens were able to settle the game down until Cabrera’s homer off Pressly with one out in the seventh.
The Tigers added two more runs in the eighth on Kinsler’s second RBI single and a wild pitch.