Escobar, Dozier power Twins past Tigers
MINNEAPOLIS—Eduardo Escobar had three hits and was a triple shy of the cycle, Brian Dozier reached base four times and the Minnesota Twins came from behind to beat the Detroit Tigers 6-3 on Friday night, Sept. 29.
Dozier and Escobar homered back-to-back in the second inning to put Minnesota ahead after Detroit scored three runs in the first off Twins starter Kyle Gibson. Ehire Adrianza added two hits, including a double that went off the top of the left-field wall, narrowly missing a home run for Minnesota, which is already set as the American League's second wild-card team.
The Twins will play a one-game playoff next week at either New York or Boston.
Gibson lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and string out six batters.
Jose Berrios (14-8) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings to get the win in his first major league relief appearance, a planned short outing in case he's needed in relief of starter Ervin Santana for the wild-card game. Matt Belisle recorded his ninth save.
Detroit's Matt Boyd (6-11) surrendered five runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings. He struck out five.
Nicholas Castellanos hit a two-run homer in the first for the Tigers, becoming just the sixth Detroit player since 1913 to record at least 10 triples, 25 homers and 100 RBIs in a season. He's the first since Al Kaline in 1956 to record the feat.
Castellanos, who switched to right field in the second half of the season, also became the 10th player in franchise history to have a 100-RBI season at age 25 or younger.
Detroit, which snapped a nine-game losing streak on Thursday at Kansas City, scored three runs through the first three batters of the game. Ian Kinsler singled, Alex Presley drove him Kinsler with a triple and Castellanos followed with a two-run homer off Gibson.
Gibson had been 6-0 with a 2.56 ERA in his previous seven starts, becoming a key member of the rotation and possibly setting himself up on the postseason roster. Gibson also entered the game with 7.8 runs of support per start this season, the highest mark of any AL pitcher with at least 27 starts.
The offense backed up Gibson again.
Escobar doubled in Dozier in the first. Dozier hit a three-run blast in the second for his 34th homer and Escobar followed with his career-best 21st home run.
NOTES: Minnesota activated 3B Miguel Sano from the disabled list before the game. Sano missed 38 games with a left shin stress reaction. Sano grounded out as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. The team wants to see if Sano will be able to play in the wild-card playoff game next week. ... Detroit 3B Jeimer Candelario was back in the lineup after missing one game with a left wrist strain. ... Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera was held out for the sixth straight game with a back injury and manager Brad Ausmus told reporters he'd talk with Cabrera to see if Cabrera wanted to play in either of the final two games. ... Twins manager Paul Molitor said rookie RHP Aaron Slegers would start Saturday and he's leaning toward starting Bartolo Colon on Sunday.