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Minnesota at Detroit

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Minnesota (56-70) «1001310107110
Detroit (74-53)0020040006120

Herrmann's late double gets Twins past first-place Tigers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Chris Herrmann thought he had missed his chance to give the Minnesota Twins a much-needed win in a road series.

But his second RBI double of the game broke an eighth-inning tie and helped the Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 7-6 on Thursday.

With two outs, the Twins catcher 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.

"I thought I hit it right at him, and it isn't like he's going to drop the ball," Herrmann said. "I still have no idea why it started hooking right, but I'll take it."

Jackson took a couple of indecisive steps toward right-center and then realized he was in trouble. He got close, but his style of not diving for balls cost him. He tried to grab the ball off the top of the grass, and couldn't hang on.

"It looked like the ball fooled Jackson, but that's one of those crazy plays that you need to beat the Tigers," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Herrmann did a great job to hit that ball off [Drew] Smyly. That guy is really tough against lefties."

Jackson said the seemingly routine liner somehow turned into a nasty slider.

"I started running for it, and then all of a sudden the ball turned the other way and broke down hard," he said. "I tried to make a play, but I didn't want to dive, because if I miss it, the batter ends up on third. That's the last thing you want to do in that situation."

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.

"Today was tough," he said. "I'd say frustrating was a good word for it."

In his last 20 starts, Verlander is 8-7 with a 4.45 ERA. He has talked about finding mechanical flaws, and he had allowed only eight runs in his previous four starts, but things fell apart again on Thursday.

"It has been a real grind for me all season," Verlander said. "It's been a real battle. When you look at my numbers and then look at my record (12-9), you realize it could be a lot worse."

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.

"It was huge to get that first run," Herrmann said. "But you know that one run isn't going to beat the Tigers."

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.
 
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Chris Herrmann's second double of the game breaks an eighth-inning tie to help the lowly Twins to a rare road series win. (USATSI)
Chris Herrmann's second double of the game breaks an eighth-inning tie to help the lowly Twins to a rare road series win. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

R. Doumit
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Detroit

A. Jackson
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brian Dozier, 2B5121000 .244
Chris Herrmann, C5132001 .233
Justin Morneau, 1B3100212 .268
Josh Willingham, DH4100135 .214
Ryan Doumit, RF5123011 .244
Trevor Plouffe, 3B5010012 .231
Clete Thomas, CF4010013 .224
Wilkin Ramirez, LF4011011 .279
Doug Bernier, SS3210103 .225
Totals38711748  
Batting
2B - Brian Dozier (28, Verlander), Chris Herrmann 2 (5, Verlander)
HR - Ryan Doumit (11, Verlander)
RBI - Brian Dozier (52), Chris Herrmann 2 (14), Ryan Doumit 3 (49), Wilkin Ramirez (6)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Herrmann (5), Ryan Doumit 3 (19), Wilkin Ramirez (4)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Clete Thomas 1
DP - Florimon-Dozier-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Andrew Albers 5.2955141 3.00
Josh Roenicke (BS,2) 0.1111111 3.18
Casey Fien (W,3-2) 1100000 3.61
Jared Burton (H,22) 1000020 2.89
Glen Perkins (S,30) 1100100 2.31
HBP - Jackson (by Andrew Albers)
Pitches-Strikes - Andrew Albers 96-64, Josh Roenicke 17-10, Casey Fien 12-8, Jared Burton 11-7, Glen Perkins 9-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andrew Albers 6-6, Glen Perkins 1-1
Batters Faced - Andrew Albers 27, Josh Roenicke 3, Casey Fien 4, Jared Burton 3, Glen Perkins 4
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF4223010 .269
Torii Hunter, RF3000112 .305
Miguel Cabrera, 3B4000124 .354
Prince Fielder, 1B5031002 .262
Victor Martinez, DH5010002 .285
Matt Tuiasosopo, LF4010011 .275
Omar Infante, 2B4120001 .313
Jose Iglesias, SS4110012 .323
Bryan Holaday, C2222100 .280
   a-Brayan Pena, PH-C1000010 .307
Totals36612637  
a-struck out for Holaday in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jose Iglesias (12, Albers)
HR - Austin Jackson (10, Roenicke), Bryan Holaday (1, Albers)
SH - Torii Hunter (3)
RBI - Austin Jackson 3 (32), Prince Fielder (88), Bryan Holaday 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Austin Jackson 3 (13), Prince Fielder (39), Bryan Holaday (1)
Team LOB - 8
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Justin Verlander 71066361 3.68
Bruce Rondon (L,1-2) 0.2011100 3.80
Drew Smyly 0.1100000 2.00
Al Alburquerque 1000020 4.86
IBB - Morneau by Justin Verlander
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 121-76, Bruce Rondon 12-4, Drew Smyly 4-3, Al Alburquerque 16-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 4-11, Bruce Rondon 1-1, Al Alburquerque 1-0
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 34, Bruce Rondon 3, Drew Smyly 2, Al Alburquerque 3
Game Information
Attendance - 39653
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Brian O'Nora, Second Base - Field Culbreth, Third Base - Jordan Baker