Tigers left-handed closer Justin Wilson issued a two-out walk to Twins pinch-hitter Eduardo Escobar, but recovered to induce a game-ending ground out from Twins second baseman Brian Dozier.
The Tigers win 6-3.
Wilson threw 19 pitches in the ninth.
Top 9: Avila sac fly boost lead
Alex Avila hit a sacrifice fly off Twins left-handed reliever Craig Breslow to give the Tigers a 6-3 lead in the top of the ninth.
The Tigers, yet again, displayed a base-running blunder – but they survived.
And this time, they took advantage.
Iglesias was picked off first base and darted toward second, and made it safely thanks to a poor throw by Twins first baseman Joe Mauer.
Ian Kinsler followed with a single to advance Iglesias to third base, which set up the RBI from Avila.
Tigers left-handed closer and prime trade deadline target Justin Wilson is entering the game.
Earlier in the game, Mikie Mahtook and Nick Castellanos made base-running blunders.
Bottom 8: Rondon strikes out two, Iglesias makes nice play
Tigers right-handed reliever Bruce Rondon used a slider to earn two strikeouts and was aided by a stellar defensive play to get a 1-2-3 inning.
The Tigers lead 5-3 after the eighth inning.
Rondon struck out Twins third baseman Miguel Sano to start the frame and designated hitter Robbie Grossman to end the inning.
In between, Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias flashed his glove.
Here's how it happened: Twins right fielder Max Kepler hit a sharp grounder to third base, where Iglesias was aligned via a defensive shift and managed to snag the ball, rise and throw to complete the put out.
Top 8: Castellanos blunder halts threat
Oh, those Tigers blunders. Another one struck in the top of the eighth.
Nick Castellanos decided to run toward third base on a soft grounder back to the mound and was thrown out by Twins right-handed reliever Tyler Duffey. That was the second out of the inning. From there, Alex Presley fouled out.
The Tigers lead 5-3 and right-handed reliever Bruce Rondon is entering the game in the bottom of the eighth.
In the top half, Duffey gave up a leadoff single to Castellanos, who advanced to second on a ground out by Victor Martinez (2-for-4, two homers, three RBIs).
That’s when Tigers centerfielder Mikie Mahtook hit a soft grounder to Duffey, who turned and threw to third base to nail Castellanos.
Earlier in the game, Mahtook was tagged out on a play at second base.
Bottom 7: Greene survives two-out hit
Tigers reliever Shane Greene gave up a two-out single to Twins centerfielder Zack Granite, but induced an inning-ending ground out from Twins first baseman Joe Mauer.
The Tigers lead 5-3 after seven innings.
Tigers left-handed reliever Daniel Stumpf got the first out of the inning by retiring Twins catcher Jason Castro (ground out).
Top 7: Upton safe after Twins challenge
Tigers left fielder Justin Upton drew a two-out walk and stole second base (and survived a Twins challenge), and the Tigers couldn’t take advantage.
The Tigers lead 5-3 after the top of the seventh.
Upton appeared like he may have rose off the bag when a tag was applied by Twins second baseman Brian Dozier. But the play on the field stood: Safe.
Twins left-handed reliever Buddy Boshers, however, managed to recover and retired Tigers first baseman Andrew Romine (ground out) to end the inning.
Bottom 6: Stumpf commits error, but recovers
Tigers left-handed reliever Daniel Stumpf threw wide of first base on a pickoff attempt to place a runner on third, but recovered to earn a strikeout and end the sixth inning.
The Tigers lead 5-3.
Tigers right-handed starter Anibal Sanchez issued a two-out walk to Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario and was pulled from the game.
Stumpf took the mound, and in his first action, threw wide of Tigers first baseman Andrew Romine. Rosario advanced to third on the play.
Stumpf, however, managed to strike out Twins shortstop Ehire Adrianza on three straight fastballs — the last being 94.5 mph.
Sanchez struck out five on 102 pitches. He gave up three earned runs on six hits and three walks.
Top 6: Twins' reliever Belisle in control
Twins 37-year-old reliever Matt Belisle has thrown 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
The Tigers lead 5-3 after the top of the sixth.
Tigers centerfielder Mikie Mahtook reached base on an infield hit — it was a comeback grounder to the mound that Belisle could not cleanly glove.
But Belisle settled down and used a slider to strike out Alex Presley, then ended the inning by inducing a grounder from Jose Iglesias (Mahtook out at second on fielder's choice).
Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez struck out to lead off the inning. Martinez homered in both the second inning (solo shot) and fourth inning (two-run shot).
Belisle (5.35 ERA) has struck out three and walked none. He’s given up one hit.
Bottom 5: Sanchez strands runner at 2nd
Tigers right-handed starter Anibal Sanchez ended the fifth inning by striking out Twins third baseman Miguel Sano to strand a runner in scoring position.
The Tigers lead 5-3.
Sanchez earned two quick outs in the bottom of the fifth, but then gave up a double to Twins first baseman Joe Mauer.
Sanchez has four strikeouts on 89 pitches through five innings. He has given up three earned runs on six hits and two walks
Top 5: Cabrera exits game
A once-promising game just a few innings ago has taken an ugly turn.
And now, Miguel Cabrera is out of the game.
Cabrera was pulled before batting in the top of the fifth inning after absorbing a sharp ground ball in the bottom of the fourth. He's been replaced by Andrew Romine.
The Tigers lead 5-3.
In the top of the fifth, Twins right-handed reliever Matt Belisle retired Alex Avila (ground out) and Justin Upton (strike out). Romine was hit by a pitch with two outs, but Nick Castellanos popped out to end the inning.
Bottom 4: Twins strike with three runs
Anibal Sanchez put the first three Twins on base in the bottom of the fourth and paid the price by giving up three runs.
The Tigers lead 5-3.
Twins shortstop Ehire Adrianza hit a two-out, two-RBI single (which featured another poor Detroit defensive play) and Twins third baseman Miguel Sano hit an RBI single during the inning.
Sanchez walked one of 109 batters he faced dating back to June 19 in Seattle, but then issued a walk to Twins first baseman Joe Mauer. Sanchez then issued a two-out walk to left fielder Eddie Rosario to load the bases.
Adrianza followed suit with a sharp line drive to right field that scored Mauer and Sano.
And it came with another ugly play. Right fielder Alex Presley’s throw to the infield was cut off by Miguel Cabrera, who tried to catch Adrianza hanging off the bag. Cabrera flipped the ball to Ian Kinsler covering first base – but it was off line. That allowed Sano to score.
Twins centerfielder Zack Granite singled to lead off the inning — the third leadoff single Sanchez has allowed tonight.
During the inning, Twins designated hitter Robbie Grossman hit a sharp grounder that took an odd hop and struck Cabrera in the upper body. Cabrera stayed in the game but has not exited the Tigers dugout.
Top 4: V-Mart blasts 2nd homer of game
Two at-bats, two home runs. That's the night for Victor Martinez, thus far.
In the top of the fourth, Martinez blasted a two-run homer off Twins starter Ervin Santana. V-Mart, who is 2-for-2 with three RBIs, also homered in the second inning.
The Tigers lead 5-0 in the fourth.
Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos led off the inning with a double (19th of season).
After V-Mart's homer, Mikie Mahtook tripled and scored on a wild pitch as Jose Iglesias stood in the batter's box.
Santana's night is finished after he gave up five earned runs on seven hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings.
Twins right-handed reliever Matt Belisle replaces Santana, who entered tonight with 11 wins that ranked second in the American League.
Iglesias, who drew a walk to end Santana's night, was caught stealing for the second out of the inning. Ian Kinsler followed with a ground out.
Both of V-Mart's homers came left-handed against the right-handed Santana.
Bottom 3: Sanchez K's two in 3rd
Anibal Sanchez has thrown three scoreless innings as the Tigers lead 2-0 at Minnesota.
In the bottom of the third, Sanchez struck out Twins shortstop Ehire Adrianza (fastball) and catcher Jason Castro (slider) — both looking.
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier grounded out to end the inning — a play that was made by Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos.
Sanchez (41 pitches) has given up two hits — both leadoff singles — and walked none.
Top 3: Upton's RBI double extends lead
Justin Upton's two-out, RBI double extends the Tigers lead to 2-0 in the top of the third inning.
Jose Iglesias hit a leadoff single, advanced to second on Ian Kinsler’s ground out, and scored on Upton's towering fly ball that glanced off the high right-field wall at Target Field.
Twins right-hander Ervin Santana (67 pitches) is having a tough time with Tigers hitters, who are battling and extending at-bats. Six of 13 Tigers batters have recorded a full count.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera struck out to end the inning and stranded Upton at second base.
Cabrera, who went 3-for-16 (.188) in the series at Kansas City to continue his career-worst campaign, has struck out twice tonight.
Bottom 2: Sanchez escapes again
Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez gave up a leadoff single for the second straight inning — and he escaped trouble yet again.
The Tigers lead 1-0 after two innings.
In the top of the second, Twins third baseman Miguel Sano singled, but Sanchez induced back-to-back pop outs from right fielder Max Kepler and designated hitter Robbie Grossman. Sanchez ended the frame by retiring left fielder Eddie Rosario.
Top 2: V-Mart belts solo HR
Victor Martinez belted a solo homer to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning.
Twins right-hander Ervin Santana retired the first five batters he faced, but Martinez crushed a 3-2 fastball to right field for his seventh homer of the season.
The Tigers, however, managed to provide the typical blunder that’s been all-too familiar in recent weeks as Mikie Mahtook was tagged out at second base to end a threat.
Alex Presley singled, and on the play, Mahtook passed second base, held up, and tried to retreat — but was tagged out in awkward fashion. Mahtook got to the bag first, but he jammed his foot, came off the base and was tagged out by Twins second baseman Brian Dozier.
The play was challenged by Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, but the call stood.
Mahtook reached base on a four-pitch walk.
Bottom 1: Double play helps Sanchez
Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez faced early stress when Twins second baseman Brian Dozier hit a leadoff single, but two batters later, veteran Joe Mauer grounded into an inning-ending double play.
It's 0-0 after the first inning.
The question entering tonight was: which version of Sanchez will we see?
The pitcher who earned recent wins against Cleveland and San Francisco? Or the Sanchez who was tagged for three homers in his last outing against Toronto?
Top 1: Santana gets 1-2-3 first
The Tigers seek to recover from last night's fundamentally-flawed meltdown in Kansas City — but they have a tough challenge against Twins right-hander Ervin Santana (11-6, 2.99 ERA), who earned a 1-2-3 first inning.
Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler and catcher Alex Avila grounded out, and left fielder Justin Upton lined out.
Santana has yet to beat the Tigers at home in Target Field. He's posted a 5.29 ERA in three starts.
But this, of course, is quite a different Tigers squad that will step into the batter's boxes than previous meetings. Plus, Santana is tied for second in the American League in wins and holds a major league-leading three shutouts.
The Tigers open a three-game series against the Twins on Friday at Target Field.
The team is coming off a 16-4 shellacking by the Royals Thursday in a rare poor outing by right-hander Michael Fulmer.
The All-Star didn't make it past the third inning, giving up eight runs -- five earned -- on seven hits. His nightmare outing was fueled by a Royals' four-run first that featured two Tigers throwing errors by Nick Castellanos and Jose Iglesias.
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Alex Avila, C
3. Justin Upton, LF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Nick Castellanos, 3B
6. Victor Martinez, DH
7. Mikie Mahtook, CF
8. Alex Presley, RF
9. Jose Iglesias, SS
Anibal Sanchez, SP
1. Brian Dozier, 2B
2. Zack Granite, CF
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Miguel Sano, 3B
5. Max Kepler, RF
6. Robbie Grossman, DH
7. Eddie Rosario, LF
8. Ehire Adrianza, SS
9. Jason Castro, C
Ervin Santana, SP
Tigers vs. Twins
First pitch: 8:10 p.m., Target Field, Minneapolis, Minn.
Pitchers: Tigers, RHP Anibal Sanchez, 1-0 (6.08); Twins, RHP Ervin Santana, 11-6 (2.99)
Records: The Tigers are 43-51 and 5.5 games behind the first-place Indians in the AL Central. The Twins are 48-46 and a half-game behind the Indians.