FINAL: TIGERS 8, TWINS 3
It was back-and-forth early on, but the Tigers found their groove at the plate, playing long ball and putting together a pair of three-run innings to pull away from the Twins, 8-3.
After the Tigers took advantage of three wild pitches in the sixth inning from Minnesota pitching, Erick Aybar and Victor Martinez went deep in the seventh to give the Tigers a comfortable lead.
That was all Anibal Sanchez would need, bouncing back from some early hiccups to throw two consecutive perfect innings before exiting the game after the seventh.
In the ninth, Kyle Ryan got the call, getting Joe Mauer to fly out to left field, Trevor Plouffe to ground out to third and Max Kepler grounded out to shortstop to end the game.
When it was all said and done, Tigers pitching retired the final 13 Twins hitters to close this one out.
Sanchez's final line: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Matt Boyd (4-2, 3.93) gets the call for the Tigers tomorrow against Tyler Duffey (8-9, 5.93).
Top 9th: Tigers 8, Twins 3
Pat Dean took his turn out of the Minnesota bullpen, and despite giving up a leadoff hit, he got out of the inning with ease.
Miguel Cabrera singled through the middle of the infield, but Victor Martinez grounded into a double play in the next at-bat. J.D. Martinez grounded out to third to end the frame.
Bottom 8th: Tigers 8, Twins 3
Alex Wilson got the call in relief of Anibal Sanchez, who put together a solid outing tonight for the Tigers. Wilson did his job well, too, setting Minnesota down in order to put the Tigers three outs away from victory.
Danny Santana flew out to left field, Brian Dozier grounded out to third and Eddie Rosario flew out to left field to end the inning.
10 consecutive Twins have been sent back to the dugout with nothing to show for their trip to the plate.
Sanchez's final line: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 94 pitches
Top 8th: Tigers 8, Twins 3
J.T. Chargois entered the game out of the Minnesota bullpen and James McCann drilled a leadoff double off the wall in right center for the Tigers' 13th hit of the night. Cameron Maybin followed by grounding out to second, moving McCann up to third with one out. The Tigers couldn't get the extra run home, though, as Ian Kinsler flew out into foul territory and Erick Aybar grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.
Bottom 7th: Tigers 8, Twins 3
Anibal Sanchez had a second consecutive easy, breezy inning, setting the Twins down in order and putting himself in position to come back out for the eighth inning.
Miguel Sano flew out to center field, Eddie Rosario flew out to shallow left field and Juan Centeno lined out to shortstop to end the inning.
Sanchez head back to the dugout having thrown 94 pitches through the first seven inning.
Top 7th: Tigers 8, Twins 3
The hit parade was on full display for the Tigers in the seventh, as a pair of home runs have extended the lead and given Anibal Sanchez a comfortable margin to pick up the victory.
Erick Aybar turned on a ball up and in, drilling a solo shot over the right field wall for his first home run as a member of the Tigers, giving his new team a 6-3 lead.
Miguel Cabrera followed with a double and Victor Martinez turned on a fastball of his own for a two-run shot to right field to push the Tigers lead to 8-3. That was the end of the line for reliever Michael Tonkin.
Pat Light got the call from the bullpen and immediately gave up a single to J.D. Martinez. No further damage would be done, however, as Justin Upton struck out looking and Casey McGehee flew out to center field to end the frame.
Ian Kinsler grounded out to shortstop to leadoff the inning.
Bottom 6th: Tigers 5, Twins 3
Anibal Sanchez didn't pick up any of the bad juju that bit the Twins pitchers dealt with in the sixth inning, setting Minnesota down in order to notch a quality start for the Tigers.
Joe Mauer grounded out to second, Trevor Plouffe popped out to third and Max Kepler did the same to end the inning.
Top 6th: Tigers 5, Twins 3
Victor Martinez notched a leadoff single to left field and moved up to second base on a wild pitch from Kyle Gibson. J.D. Martinez followed with a single through the left side of the infield to put runners on the corners with nobody out. But before Justin Upton could get his swings in, another wild pitch from Gibson scored Victor Martinez from third, tying the game at 3-3. After walking Upton, Gibson was pulled from the game.
With runners on first and second, Michael Tonkin took over for Minnesota. Casey McGehee was his first assignment, but something is apparently going on with the Twins pitching staff, as Tonkin threw the third wild pitch of the inning, moving the runners up to second and third. McGehee had apparently done his job, flying out to center field, but J.D. Martinez didn't break for home despite a bad throw from Eddie Rosario in center field. James McCann lined out to shortstop for the inning's second out but Cameron Maybin picked his team up with a two-RBI single to center field. to give the Tigers a 5-3 lead. Maybin was thrown out after getting caught between first and second.
Bottom 5th: Twins 3, Tigers 2
After Danny Santana notched a one-out single to right field but was caught trying to steal second on a pitch in the dirt, Brian Dozier made up for it and then some, blasting a solo home run to left field to give the Twins a 3-2 lead.
Anibal Sanchez got out of the inning by getting Jorge Polanco to fly out to center field.
Juan Centeno flew out to shallow left field to leadoff the frame.
Top 5th: Tigers 2, Twins 2
Cameron Maybin drew a leadoff walk on four pitches, stealing second base successfully and moving up to third on a bad throw from Minnesota catcher Juan Centeno. With a man on third and nobody out, Ian Kinsler grounded out to third, keeping Maybin in place. Erick Aybar brought him home with a single to right center before being throwing out trying to get to second. Miguel Cabrera struck out swinging to end the inning.
Bottom 4th: Twins 2, Tigers 1
Max Kepler struck out looking, Miguel Sano grounded out to third and Eddie Rosario grounded out to second to end an easy inning for Anibal Sanchez.
Sanchez's pitch count is in decent shape at 65. If he can give the Tigers two more solid innings, he'll give his team a chance to win tonight.
Top 4th: Twins 2, Tigers 1
Justin Upton continues to swing a hot bat, drilling a leadoff single to left field, but the Tigers were unable to get anything done in the fourth inning against Kyle Gibson.
Casey McGehee lined out to third and James McCann grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Gibson has thrown 72 pitches through the first four frames.
Bottom 3rd: Twins 2, Tigers 1
Brian Dozier notched a one-out, infield single with a little dribbler down the third base line. He then proceeded to steal second base before Jorge Polanco brought him home with a triple down the right field line. Joe Mauer grounded out to second base, and Ian Kinsler would have had Polanco nailed at the plate, but he bobbled the ball and allowed the run to score before getting Mauer at first.
Trevor Plouffe struck out to end the inning.
Danny Santana grounded out back to the pitcher to leadoff the frame.
Top 3rd: Tigers 1, Twins 0
Miguel Cabrera notched a one-out single through the left side of the infield but were unable to inflict any further damage on Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson. Victor Martinez popped out to third and J.D. Martinez struck out for the second time tonight to end the inning.
Erick Aybar lined out to first to leadoff the frame.
Bottom 2nd: Tigers 1, Twins 0
Max Kepler got things started in the second inning for Minnesota with a leadoff single to left center. He moved up to second base after an Anibal Sanchez balk, putting a man in scoring position for the Twins. Miguel Sano grounded out to shortstop, moving Kepler up to third. Sanchez was able to work his way out of trouble, though, getting Eddie Rosario to pop out to shortstop and Juan Centeno to ground out to second to end the inning.
Top 2nd: Tigers 1, Twins 0
The Tigers loaded the bases against Kyle Gibson and were able to stay patient enough to score the game's first run and take a 1-0 lead.
Victor Martinez led things off with an infield hit (yes, you read that correctly). J.D. Martinez followed by striking out on a check-swing, but Justin Upton picked him up by doubling down the left field line on a 3-0 pitch. With runners on second and third, Casey McGehee grounded out to third before James McCann was able to draw a walk that loaded the bases for Cameron Maybin. Maybin put together a good at-bat against Gibson and drew a bases loaded walk on a full count to bring home the run. Ian Kinsler popped out into foul territory to end the inning.
Bottom 1st: Tigers 0, Twins 0
Joe Mauer notched a two-out single to center field for the first hit of the night for either team. No harm, no foul for Anibal Sanchez, however, as Trevor Ploufee popped out to second to end the inning.
Brian Dozier popped out to second and Jorge Polanco flew out to center field to start the frame.
Dozier is one of the more dangerous bats in the Minnesota lineup, but Sanchez is proving to be one puzzle he just can't solve. The Twins leadoff man is now 2-for-24 lifetime against Sanchez.
Top 1st: Tigers 0, Twins 0
Kyle Gibson set the Tigers down in order to get things started from Minnesota.
Ian Kinsler flew out to right field, Erick Aybar grounded out to second and Miguel Cabrera struck out looking on a pitch that appeared to be a little outside.
The Tigers' offense needs to show up tonight. It can't count on Anibal Sanchez to go out and pitch a gem.
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Erick Aybar, SS
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Victor Martinez, DH
5. J.D. Martinez, RF
6. Justin Upton, LF
7. Casey McGehee, 3B
8. James McCann, C
9. Cameron Maybin, CF
Anibal Sanchez, P
1. Brian Dozier, 2B
2. Jorge Polanco, SS
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
5. Max Kepler, RF
6. Miguel Sano, DH
7. Eddie Rosario, CF
8. Juan Centeno, C
9. Danny Santana, LF
Kyle Gibson, P
TIGERS VS. TWINS
When: Tuesday, 8:10 p.m.
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis
Pitching matchup: RHP Anibal Sanchez (6-12, 5.94 ERA) vs. RHP Kyle Gibson (5-7, 4.90 ERA)
Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit
National TV: None
Internet streaming: MLB.TV (blacked out in Detroit market)
Local radio: 97.1 FM
Satellite radio: SIRI Internet 849