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Minnesota at Detroit

Minnesota (54-57)0102021017141
Detroit (59-51) «00042002x8150

First-place Tigers hold off Twins after Polanco's big hit

CBSSports.com wire reports

DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers know there's a lot of baseball left this season and they're far from wrapping up the AL Central.

Their latest win, however, on a sweltering Sunday was especially sweet.

Placido Polanco hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning and Detroit held on for an 8-7 win over the Minnesota Twins.

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"That's a helluva of a win," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who usually downplays the significance of every win and every loss. "Down 3 to nothing on a hot day, beat up last night 11 to nothing, they showed me something today.

"I'm proud of them."

The AL Central-leading Tigers have won five of seven games to keep their lead over the Chicago White Sox and build a cushion atop the third-place Twins.

"Every win is big for us now," said Miguel Cabrera, who hit his 23rd homer of the season. "But we can't say the Twins are out of it because they have a good team and there's a lot of games left."

Minnesota has lost seven of nine -- giving up an average of nine runs in the setbacks -- to trail the Tigers by 5½ games after being behind by just two games before the slide.

"It's pitching, pitching, pitching," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Brandon Lyon (5-4) pitched a scoreless eighth and Fernando Rodney closed the game for his 23rd save in 24 chances.

Matt Guerrier (5-1) gave up a leadoff double to catcher Gerald Laird in the eighth.

Gardenhire then chose to walk free-swinging Curtis Granderson to face a contact hitter in the hopes of getting a double play, and Polanco made him pay for the decision with a bloop single to right to put Detroit ahead 7-6.

Gardenhire didn't regret the decision with Guerrier on the mound.

"Granderson has really good numbers against him," he said. "Got to try and get a double play there."

Clete Thomas followed with an RBI groundout to give the Tigers a two-run cushion, which proved to be valuable because Michael Cuddyer hit his second homer of the game in the ninth to pull the Twins within a run.

Minnesota's Scott Baker gave up six runs to match a season high and nine hits over just 4 1/3 innings in his shortest outing in a month. Bobby Keppel kept the Twins in the game with 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

Cuddyer hit a game-tying single in the seventh and made it 8-7 with a homer off Rodney in the ninth.

In between, Leyland intentionally walked hot-hitting Denard Span with no outs in the eighth to face Orlando Cabrera after he extended his career-long hitting streak to 19 games.

"I wouldn't let a guy who had (nine) hits in two games beat me," Leyland said. "If Cabrera did it, I could've lived with it."

Detroit and Minnesota combined to score 11 runs between the fourth and seventh innings, making it 6-all.

Cuddyer and Delmon Young hit homers to center off Jarrod Washburn on consecutive pitches in the fourth inning to give the Twins a 3-0 lead in the fourth.

Detroit had four hits against Baker in a five-pitch stretch of the home half, starting with Marcus Thames' 100th career homer, to help it go ahead by a run.

"They hit a lot of first pitches and he didn't make the adjustment," Gardenhire said.

Baker agreed.

"They became pretty aggressive," he said. "And, I left some balls in the middle of the plate."

Washburn gave up five runs and 10 hits over six innings in his second start since being acquired to bolster the Tigers' rotation. He gave up six runs in his Detroit debut, an 8-2 loss to Baltimore.

"A little better than start No. 1," Washburn said. "It wasn't terrible. We won and that's all that matters."


  • Leyland said "people who care about it probably don't like baseball," during a wide-ranging discussion about baseball's drug scandal before the game.
  • Twins LHP Glen Perkins, who pitched Saturday, had stiffness in his shoulder warming up and will have a MRI when the team returns to Minnesota.
  • Granderson has at least 20 stolen bases and 20 homers for the second time in his career, joining Kirk Gibson (four) and Alan Trammell (two) as the players in franchise history to pull off the feat multiple times.
  • Baker was 2-0 after giving up just four runs in his previous four starts.
  • Polanco had at least three hits for the ninth time this season and extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
  • Cuddyer homered twice for the third time in his career and first since 2006 and had four hits for the fourth time this season.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Placido Polanco gets his bat on the ball and delivers in the eighth with an RBI single.  (AP)
Placido Polanco gets his bat on the ball and delivers in the eighth with an RBI single. (AP)

Players of the Game

M. Cuddyer
AB 5
R 3
H 4
HR 2

M. Cabrera
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1

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Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF3000121 .297
Orlando Cabrera, SS5010003 .287
Joe Mauer, DH-C4010100 .365
Justin Morneau, 1B5110014 .302
Michael Cuddyer, RF5343000 .277
Delmon Young, LF5111012 .262
Mike Redmond, C4131000 .264
    Carlos Gomez, PR0000000 .238
    Brendan Harris, 3B0000000 .261
Nick Punto, 3B-2B4110001 .207
Alexi Casilla, 2B3022000 .176
   a- Jason Kubel, PH1000000 .304
a-grounded out for Casilla in the 8th
2B - Justin Morneau (27, Seay), Michael Cuddyer (24, Washburn)
3B - Alexi Casilla (2, Washburn)
HR - Michael Cuddyer 2 (19, Washburn, Rodney), Delmon Young (4, Washburn)
SH - Denard Span (8)
RBI - Michael Cuddyer 3 (56), Delmon Young (30), Mike Redmond (6), Alexi Casilla 2 (11)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Cuddyer 2 (15), Alexi Casilla 2 (6)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Casilla-Morneau
E - Michael Cuddyer (5, Misplayed grounder)
Minnesota Twins
Scott Baker 4.1966032 4.85
Bobby Keppel 2.2400010 4.67
Matt Guerrier (L,5-1) 1222110 2.28
IBB - Granderson by Matt Guerrier
HBP - Guillen (by Scott Baker)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 72-50, Bobby Keppel 41-26, Matt Guerrier 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 2-8, Bobby Keppel 2-4, Matt Guerrier 2-0
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 23, Bobby Keppel 11, Matt Guerrier 6
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4110102 .261
Placido Polanco, 2B5131001 .276
Marcus Thames, LF3111022 .257
    Clete Thomas, LF-RF2001002 .259
Miguel Cabrera, 1B5222014 .330
Carlos Guillen, DH3130000 .245
Magglio Ordonez, RF4120001 .267
    Ryan Raburn, LF0000000 .259
Brandon Inge, 3B3001013 .252
Gerald Laird, C4121013 .232
Ramon Santiago, SS3011000 .251
2B - Gerald Laird 2 (17, Baker, Guerrier)
HR - Marcus Thames (12, Baker), Miguel Cabrera (23, Baker)
SF - Brandon Inge (2)
SH - Ramon Santiago (8)
RBI - Placido Polanco (52), Marcus Thames (25), Clete Thomas (33), Miguel Cabrera 2 (67), Brandon Inge (62), Gerald Laird (25), Ramon Santiago (29)
SB - Curtis Granderson (20, 3rd base off Baker/Redmond)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Magglio Ordonez 1
Detroit Tigers
Jarrod Washburn 61055132 3.12
Bobby Seay (H,21) 0.2111000 3.63
Ryan Perry (BS,2) 0.1100010 3.89
Brandon Lyon (W,5-4) 1100100 3.00
Fernando Rodney (S,23) 1111001 3.86
IBB - Span by Brandon Lyon
Pitches-Strikes - Jarrod Washburn 96-61, Bobby Seay 15-12, Ryan Perry 8-6, Brandon Lyon 19-12, Fernando Rodney 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jarrod Washburn 8-6, Bobby Seay 1-1, Brandon Lyon 2-1, Fernando Rodney 3-0
Batters Faced - Jarrod Washburn 28, Bobby Seay 3, Ryan Perry 2, Brandon Lyon 5, Fernando Rodney 4
Game Information
Attendance - 35423
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Dana DeMuth