x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Tigers are hunted down

The Minnesota Twins roared to life for five runs in the eighth inning to defeat the Detroit Tigers 6-2 and move within two games of the visitors in the American League (AL) Central Division on Saturday.

The Minnesota Twins roared to life for five runs in the eighth inning to defeat the Detroit Tigers 6-2 and move within two games of the visitors in the American League (AL) Central Division on Saturday. Jason Kubel's two-run bases-loaded single and Michael Cuddyer's three-run home run in the eighth sparked the Twins (76-72) to their sixth consecutive victory, though it was Orlando Cabrera's fly ball earlier in the inning that set up the victory.

Tigers outfielder Don Kelly lost sight of the ball in the lights of the Metrodome roof, allowing it to fall for a double and giving Minnesota runners on second and third with one out. After Joe Mauer was intentionally walked, Kubel connected on a single to drive in Denard Span and Cabrera to give the Twins a 3-2 lead. With the loss, division-leading Detroit (78-70) suffered their third successive defeat and dropped to 3-7 in their past 10 games to tighten the closest post-season race in Major League Baseball.

The Tigers had been cruising with a 2-1 lead behind starter and loser Justin Verlander (16-9) until Kubel's game-turning single to left drove Verlander from the mound. Cuddyer then cleared the bases on the third pitch from the reliever Brandon Lyon with his home run to left centre. Minnesota's Jesse Crain (6-4) picked up the win by pitching a scoreless eighth inning after starter Carl Pavano allowed 11 hits but only two runs over seven innings while striking out four.

Verlander, the 2006 Rookie of the Year, was tagged for nine hits and five runs. He struck out six and walked two. He was on the verge of becoming the second AL pitcher with 17 wins. * Reuters