Hicks, Twins walk off against Detroit
MINNEAPOLIS -- Aaron Hicks' walk-off RBI infield single lifted the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over the first-place Detroit Tigers Tuesday night at Target Field.
MINNEAPOLIS - Aaron Hicks’ walk-off RBI infield single lifted the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over the first-place Detroit Tigers Tuesday night at Target Field.
Down one after closer Glen Perkins blew a two-run lead in the top of the ninth, the Twins began their rally in the bottom of the ninth with a one-out walk by third baseman Trevor Plouffe. The next batter, catcher Kurt Suzuki, blooped a hit to center that skipped by a diving Ezequiel Carrera in center field and rolled to the wall, scoring pinch runner Doug Bernier to tie the score.
After shortstop Eduardo Nunez bounced out to second, moving pinch runner Chris Herrmann to third, Hicks chopped a pitch over the mound to short and beat the throw, giving the Twins the win as Herrmann scored from third.
Minnesota led most of the game after Ricky Nolasco pitched eight shutout innings. But in the ninth, Perkins surrendered a three-run homer to Tigers left fielder J.D. Martinez with two outs, giving Detroit its first lead of the night.
The ninth-inning rally for Minnesota made a winner of Perkins, however, improving his record to 4-3. Tigers closer Joe Nathan took the loss, blowing his seventh save of the season and dropping his record to 4-4.
Nolasco had perhaps his finest outing as a Twin, lasting eight innings and allowing only five singles and a walk in the no-decision. He hasn’t posted a victory since July 1.
Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello was in line for the win, allowing only two runs on seven hits and two walks in eight innings before Nathan’s meltdown in the ninth.
Twins designated hitter Kennys Vargas went 3-for-4 with a triple and a homer, scoring both Minnesota runs until the ninth. He finished a double short of his first career cycle.
Vargas led off the fourth inning with his first career triple. Two batters later, Suzuki singled to left field off Porcello, giving Minnesota a 1-0 lead.
NOTES: Tigers 3B Nick Castellanos was a late scratch after fouling a ball off his foot during batting practice. He is day-to-day. ... C Alex Avila remained out of the Tigers’ lineup. He left Sunday’s game with a headache and lightheadedness, and he didn’t play Monday. He remains day-to-day. ... Twins RF Oswaldo Arcia was not in the lineup after tweaking his lower back on a swing and miss during Monday’s game. Manager Ron Gardenhire said Arcia was day-to-day but was potentially available in a pinch-hitting role.