Minnesota at Detroit

Scoreboard
Minnesota (32-33) «001000001241
Detroit (34-29)000000000061

Escobar, Twins keep heat on slipping Tigers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Kyle Gibson faced Miguel Cabrera with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, clinging to a one-run lead. He delivered the pitch and got the result he wanted.

Gibson's sinker inside was hit into an inning-ending double play to help the Minnesota Twins keep their slim lead in a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

"It was a big pitch," Gibson acknowledged. "If you want to win a game and you want have a good outing, you've got to make that pitch against one of the best hitters in the game."

Gibson threw seven innings and Eduardo Escobar hit a solo homer in the third and drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth, helping Minnesota win three straight for the first time in nearly a month and pull within three games of the AL Central-leading Tigers.

"These guys are a great baseball team and everybody knows it," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We have to come in here and win some of these games."

Gibson (6-5) allowed five hits and two walks while striking out three. He threw seven scoreless innings for a second straight start and held an opponent without a run for the third time in four outings.

"You certainly have to give credit to Gibson, who is a good pitcher, but we had opportunities and we didn't do anything with them," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.

Casey Fien pitched a perfect eighth and Glen Perkins gave up one hit in the ninth, closing the game for his 17th save in 19 chances.

Drew Smyly (3-4) gave up one run, four hits and three walks over six innings.

Al Alburquerque and Joba Chamberlain each threw a scoreless inning of relief.

Minnesota added to its lead in the ninth against former Twin Joe Nathan.

Josh Willingham reached on a throwing error by shortstop Eugenio Suarez to lead off the ninth. Pinch-runner Sam Fuld advanced on a wild pitch and got to third on a groundout. Nathan later gave up a two-out walk to Trevor Plouffe and hit Eduardo Nunez to load the bases. Escobar walked to make it 2-0, chasing Nathan, who was booed as he walked to the dugout.

"We need Joe Nathan to pitch well, and we need him to close out games for us," Ausmus said. "He has the track record and he also had a really good stretch here where he saved a lot of games for us. So I've seen his success first-hand."

Phil Coke entered and struck out Danny Santana to keep the Tigers within two runs.

Since a 27-12 start, Detroit has lost 17 of 24 games and it has struggled even more at home lately, losing 11 of 15 at Comerica Park.

"We're still in first place, and we just have to turn things around," Smyly said.

Notes

Tigers RHP Luke Putkonen, who is out indefinitely, had elbow surgery Thursday and will be evaluated again in 6 to 8 weeks. ... Twins 2B Brian Dozier, who has played a team-high 64 games, was not in the lineup because of a back injury and might sit out of Saturday's game. ... Tigers OF Andy Dirks, who had back surgery in March, is expected to begin a rehab assignment in about a week if he does not have any setbacks. ... Minnesota put OF Aaron Hicks on the 15-day DL with a right shoulder strain, reinstated Fuld from his rehab assignment and recalled C Eric Fryer. ... Detroit RHP Anibal Sanchez (2-2) will pitch against Twins RHP Samuel Deduno (2-4) in the second game of the series Saturday afternoon.

 
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Ron Gardenhire, Eduardo Escobar and the Twins close to within three games of the Tigers with a win over Detroit. (USATSI)
Ron Gardenhire, Eduardo Escobar and the Twins close to within three games of the Tigers with a win over Detroit. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

E. Escobar
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Detroit

D. Smyly
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 3
K 2
 

Related Video

Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Danny Santana, CF4000123 .356
Kurt Suzuki, C4010001 .305
Joe Mauer, 1B4010001 .263
Josh Willingham, LF3000101 .299
   Sam Fuld, PR-LF0100000 .232
Kendrys Morales, DH4010014 .412
Oswaldo Arcia, RF4000005 .259
Trevor Plouffe, 3B2000200 .241
Eduardo Nunez, SS3000001 .273
Eduardo Escobar, 2B3112100 .309
Kyle Gibson, P0000000 .250
   Casey Fien, P0000000 .000
   Glen Perkins, P0000000 .000
Totals3124253  
Batting
HR - Eduardo Escobar (2, Smyly)
RBI - Eduardo Escobar 2 (14)
2-OUT RBI - Eduardo Escobar (7)
SB - Danny Santana (5, 3rd base off Smyly/Avila)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Plouffe-Escobar-Mauer
E - Eduardo Nunez (3, Misplayed grounder)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kyle Gibson (W,6-5) 7500230 3.55
Casey Fien (H,11) 1000010 2.22
Glen Perkins (S,17) 1100010 2.76
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Gibson 110-66, Casey Fien 11-6, Glen Perkins 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Gibson 12-6, Glen Perkins 1-1
Batters Faced - Kyle Gibson 28, Casey Fien 3, Glen Perkins 4
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B2000101 .279
Austin Jackson, CF3000100 .254
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4010003 .324
Victor Martinez, DH4000011 .324
J.D. Martinez, RF4010010 .260
Don Kelly, LF4000011 .244
Nick Castellanos, 3B4010011 .265
Alex Avila, C3020000 .225
   Rajai Davis, PR0000000 .276
   Bryan Holaday, C1000001 .304
Andrew Romine, SS2010010 .210
   a-Torii Hunter, PH1000001 .261
   Eugenio Suarez, SS0000000 .313
Drew Smyly, P0000000 .000
   Al Alburquerque, P0000000 .000
   Joba Chamberlain, P0000000 .000
   Joe Nathan, P0000000 .000
   Phil Coke, P0000000 .000
Totals3206025  
a-grounded out for Romine in the 7th
Batting
2B - J.D. Martinez (7, Gibson), Nick Castellanos (12, Perkins), Alex Avila (11, Gibson)
SH - Ian Kinsler (1)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Romine-Cabrera
E - Eugenio Suarez (1, Throwing)
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Drew Smyly (L,3-5) 6411321 3.58
Al Alburquerque 1000000 3.16
Joba Chamberlain 1000000 3.18
Joe Nathan 0.2010200 6.85
Phil Coke 0.1000010 5.64
WP - Joe Nathan (2)
HBP - Nunez (by Joe Nathan)
Pitches-Strikes - Drew Smyly 100-63, Al Alburquerque 10-7, Joba Chamberlain 6-5, Joe Nathan 29-16, Phil Coke 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Drew Smyly 5-10, Al Alburquerque 2-1, Joba Chamberlain 2-1, Joe Nathan 2-1
Batters Faced - Drew Smyly 24, Al Alburquerque 3, Joba Chamberlain 3, Joe Nathan 6, Phil Coke 1
Game Information
Attendance - 39811
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Seth Buckminster, Third Base - Manny Gonzalez