Twins right-hander Matt Belisle took the mound in the ninth and closed the door for a 12-1 win against the Tigers at Comerica Park.
Mikie Mahtook reached base on an infield single. Bryan Holaday was inserted as a pinch-hitter for James McCann and reached on a fielder’s choice (Mahtook out at second base).
Designated hitter John Hicks flied out to Twins left fielder Zack Granite, who made a tumbling catch.
That left it up to JaCoby Jones, who flied out to the base of the 365-foot wall in right-center field at Comerica Park.
Top 9: Labourt survives wild pitch
Tigers left-hander Jairo Labourt took the mound in the top of the ninth and threw a scoreless frame.
The Twins lead the Tigers 12-1 at Comerica Park.
Twins manager Paul Molitor emptied the dugout — and his team still placed runners on base.
In the ninth, Niko Goodrum walked and advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and Zack Granite drew a two-out walk. But Eduardo Escobar flied out to end the inning.
Labourt also retired Kenny Vargas (strike out) and Ehire Adrianza (fly out) during the inning.
Bottom 8: Castellanos hitting streak will end
It appears the hitting streak will end for Tigers right fielder Nick Castellanos. Seventeen games will likely be the final tally.
The Twins lead 12-1 after eight innings at Comerica Park.
Castellanos managed to foul off three consecutive pitches during his eighth inning at-bat, but he flied out to right field and is 0-for-4 tonight.
Twins reliever Ryan Pressly earned a 1-2-3 inning. He struck out Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario and first baseman Efren Navarro, who was inserted as a pinch-hitter for Miguel Cabrera.
Top 8: Jaye, Reininger give up two-RBI doubles
Tigers relievers Myles Jaye and Zac Reininger each gave up a two-RBI double as the Twins extended their lead to 12-1 in the top of the eighth inning at Comerica Park.
The Twins’ Jorge Polanco drew a one-out walk but was called out at second base (Eddie Rosario reached first on a fielder’s choice).
From there, Jaye walked Eduardo Escobar to place runners on first and second base. The runners advanced on a wild pitch, and Max Kepler made the Tigers pay with a two-RBI double into the right-field corner.
Jaye’s night ended when he walked Byron Buxton with two outs.
Reininger took the mound to face Jason Castro, who roped a two-RBI double over the head of Tigers left fielder Mikie Mahtook.
Jaye gave up five earned runs in 1 2/3 innings.
Bottom 7: Tigers fall asleep at plate
Twins reliever Ryan Pressly took the mound in the bottom of the seventh and earned a 1-2-3 inning.
The Twins lead 8-1 at Comerica Park.
In the seventh, Pressly retired Tigers batters JaCoby Jones (ground out), Jose Iglesias (strike out) and Ian Kinsler (ground out).
Twins pitchers have retired 12 of the past 14 Tigers batters since the fifth inning.
For Tigers fans hoping for a higher draft pick: The White Sox (60-91) lead at Milwaukee 2-1 in the sixth.
The Tigers (62-90), Giants (60-93) and Phillies (61-92) are in a race with the White Sox for the worst record in the majors.
Top 7: Jaye gives up sacrifice fly
The Twins have scored a run in four consecutive innings and widened their lead to 8-1 at Comerica Park.
Tigers right-hander Myles Jaye took the mound in the top of the seventh inning and gave up a sacrifice fly to Twins designated hitter Robbie Grossman.
Twins third baseman Eduardo Escobar and right fielder Max Kepler singled to start the inning. From there, Twins centerfielder Byron Buxton grounded out to the pitcher’s mound to advance the runners to second and third.
Jaye walked Twins catcher Jason Castro to load the bases with one out and Grossman hit a sacrifice fly.
Jaye has given up 13 earned runs in 12.0 innings during his tenure in Detroit.
Bottom 6: Quick inning for Tigers bats
In the bottom of the sixth, Twins right-hander Dillon Gee earned a 1-2-3 inning as Minnesota leads 7-1 at Comerica Park.
Gee struck out Tigers left fielder Mikie Mahtook and catcher James McCann, then retired designated hitter John Hicks (line out).
Top 6: Mauer, Polanco deliver RBI hits
Tigers right-hander Victor Alcantara recorded two outs to begin the sixth inning — but he quickly unraveled as the Twins recorded three hits and three runs to extend their lead to 7-1 at Comerica Park.
Joe Mauer (3-for-3) hit a two-RBI double and Jorge Polanco (3-for-4) added an RBI single in the sixth inning for the Twins, who entered the night with a 2-game lead above the L.A. Angels for the second wild card in the American League playoff race.
Alcantara retired Twins centerfielder Byron Buxton and catcher Jason Castro on back-to-back ground outs to start the inning.
From there, it unraveled.
Alcantara gave up a single to Twins designated hitter Robbie Grossman and then walked second baseman Brian Dozier.
Mauer hit a two-RBI double over the head of Tigers left fielder Mikie Mahtook, who did not make a good read on the ball.
Next was Polanco, who ripped a line drive off the outstretched glove of Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera. The ball trickled into the outfield, allowing Mauer to score from second base.
Alcantara, 24, made his major league debut on Sept. 5. He has given up six earned runs in five innings during his brief tenure in Detroit.
Bottom 5: Castellanos (0-for-3) strands two
Jeimer Candelario and Miguel Cabrera hit consecutive singles with two outs in the fifth inning, but the Tigers’ threat ended when Nick Castellanos flied out to deep centerfield.
The Twins lead 4-1 after five innings at Comerica Park.
Twins left-handed starter Adalberto Mejia struck out Jose Iglesias and Ian Kinsler to begin the fifth inning. He gave up a two-out single to Candelario (2-for-3 tonight), and his night ended.
Twins right-hander Dillon Gee took the mound to face Cabrera, who singled up the middle.
But Castellanos, who entered tonight with a 17-game hit streak, flied out to end the inning. He is 0-for-3 tonight.
Mejia struck out five and walked one in 4 2/3 innings.
Top 5: Tigers bullpen gives up another run
The night for Jordan Zimmermann is over.
And the Tigers' bullpen has not been much better, either, as the Twins tacked on another run to extend their lead to 4-1 at Comerica Park.
Tigers right-handed reliever Warwick Saupold took the mound in the top of the fifth inning and loaded the bases. He issued walks to Twins designated hitter Robbie Grossman and first baseman Joe Mauer and then gave up a single to shortstop Jorge Polanco.
That’s when Tigers manager Brad Ausmus exited the dugout to insert left-handed reliever Blaine Hardy, who threw one pitch and saw another run cross the plate: Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario hit Hardy’s 86-mph cutter for an RBI single.
Hardy ended the inning by retiring Twins third baseman Eduardo Escobar (pop out) and right fielder Max Kepler (ground out).
Zimmermann gave up three runs in the fourth inning and did not return for the fifth. He gave up five hits and one walk in his final start of the year at Comerica Park.
Bottom 4: Mahtook reaches on error, but Tigers cannot take advantage
Left fielder Mikie Mahtook reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Tigers could not take advantage.
It’s 3-1 Twins at Comerica Park.
Mahtook’s ground ball went off the glove of Twins third baseman Eduardo Escobar. But Twins left-handed starter Adalberto Mejia retired Tigers catcher James McCann (pop out), designated hitter John Hicks (strike out) and centerfielder JaCoby Jones (fly out).
Top 4: Escobar, Buxton deliver RBI hits
Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann has coughed away the lead.
The Twins recorded four singles and jumped ahead 3-1 in the top of the fourth inning at Comerica Park against Zimmermann, who entered tonight with an 11.25 ERA in his past five starts.
In the fourth, Twins third baseman Eduardo Escobar hit an RBI single and centerfielder Byron Buxton knocked home two runs.
The inning began with back-to-back singles by Twins first baseman Joe Mauer and shortstop Jorge Polanco. From there, Zimmermann struck out Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario, but Escobar hit a line drive down the left-field line to tie the game.
Twins right fielder Max Kepler flied out on the first pitch for the second out of the inning. But Buxton laced a liner through the middle on the first pitch of his at-bat for a two-RBI single and extended the Twins lead to 3-1.
Buxton stole second base to tie a franchise record with his 22nd consecutive steal.
Bottom 3: Candelario shines again with RBI double
The highlight reels of the 2017 Detroit Tigers season will not be anything worth remembering as the rebuilding project enters its infant stages. But rookie third baseman Jeimer Candelario has provided a glimmer of hope for the future of the franchise.
Candelario hit an RBI double to give Detroit a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning at Comerica Park. He has nine RBIs in 20 games in Detroit.
Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias belted a leadoff double into the right-centerfield gap and then advanced to third base on a balk by Twins left-handed starter Adalberto Mejia. From there, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler grounded out to third base, and Candelario doubled down the left-field line.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera struck out for the second out of the inning, and then right fielder Nick Castellanos grounded out.
Candelario has reached base safely in 19-of-20 games.
Top 3: Dozier hits into double play
Tigers right-handed starter Jordan Zimmermann issued a leadoff walk, but managed to exit the third inning without giving up a run.
The Tigers and Twins are scoreless at Comerica Park.
In the third, Twins catcher Jason Castro drew a leadoff walk, but Zimmermann buckled down from there. Twins designated hitter Robbie Grossman lined out to centerfield, and second baseman Brian Dozier grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Bottom 2: Hicks' 2-out single goes for nought
Tigers designated hitter John Hicks delivered a two-out single, but centerfielder JaCoby Jones struck out to end the inning.
It’s 0-0 between the Tigers and Twin after two innings at Comerica Park.
Twins left-handed starter Adalberto Mejia started the inning by retiring Tigers left fielder Mikie Mahtook (fly out) and catcher James McCann (ground out).
Top 2: Zimmermann gets 1-2-3 inning
Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann posted an 11.25 ERA across his past five starts entering tonight.
Thus far, he’s thrown two scoreless innings.
It’s 0-0 between the Twins and Tigers at Comerica Park.
In the top of the second, Zimmermann retired Twins third baseman Eduardo Escobar (ground out), right fielder Max Kepler (strike out) and centerfielder Byron Buxton (fly out).
Bottom 1: Cabrera draws 2-out walk, but Castellanos flies out
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera drew a two-out walk, but the inning ended when Tigers right fielder Nick Castellanos flied out.
It’s 0-0 after one inning at Comerica Park.
Twins left-handed starter Adalberto Mejia needed three pitches to get two outs — he retired Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler and third baseman Jeimer Candelario on fly outs.
Castellanos entered tonight with a 17-game hitting streak.
Top 1: Zimmermann wins 11-pitch battle
Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann gave up a one-out single, but managed to exit the inning without giving up a run.
It’s scoreless between the Twins and Tigers after the top of the first inning at Comerica Park.
Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario battled Zimmermann in an 11-pitch at-bat, but struck out swinging on a 93-mph fastball to end the inning.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer extended his hitting streak to six games with a one-out single (Remember: Mauer had a five RBI game in Detroit on Aug. 12).
Zimmermann also retired Twins second baseman Brian Dozier and shortstop Jorge Polanco on fly outs.
Final home start for Zimmermann
Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann takes the mound in Detroit for the final time of the year — and some fans are thankful for it.
Zimmermann has been below-average — to put it nicely. He has given up eight hits or more in each of his past five starts and has not lasted more than five innings.
In the top of the first, Zimmermann will face Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, first baseman Joe Mauer and shortstop Jorge Polanco.
Final home series begins
The Tigers can accomplish at least a couple of things in their final home series of the season, which starts Thursday night against the Minnesota Twins.
One victory will help the Tigers avoid a 100-loss season, something they haven't seen since 2003. Their first shot at that begins at 7:10 p.m., with right-hander Jordan Zimmermann taking the hill for the Tigers.
The Tigers also can play spoiler to the upstart Twins, who are in the second American League wild-card spot, but own just a 1.5-game cushion over the Los Angeles Angels. Four other teams are just four games or fewer behind.
So, the Tigers have a chance to make things even tighter in the AL playoff race, even if their postseason fate was sealed long ago.
The Tigers enter the series having lost 10 of their last 12, including a sweep at the hands of the perpetually rebuilding Oakland Athletics. They'll face lefty Adalberto Mejia (4-6, 4.62 ERA), who is making just his second start since early August after being sidelined with a biceps injury.
TWINS AT TIGERS
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. Thursday, Comerica Park, Detroit
TV/radio: Fox Sports 1/97.1 FM
Records: The Tigers are 62-90, fourth place in the American League Central Division, 33 games behind the Cleveland Indians. The Twins are 78-74, second place in the AL Central, 17 games behind the Indians, and 1.5 games in front for the second AL wild-card spot.
1. Brian Dozier, 2B
2. Joe Mauer, 1B
3. Jorge Polanco, SS
4. Eddie Rosario, LF
5. Eduardo Escobar, 3B
6. Max Kepler, RF
7. Byron Buxton, CF
8. Jason Castro, C
9. Robbie Grossman, DH
SP: Adalberto Mejia, LHP
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Nick Castellanos, RF
5. Mikie Mahtook, LF
6. James McCann, C
7. John Hicks, DH
8. JaCoby Jones, CF
9. Jose Iglesias, SS
SP: Jordan Zimmermann, RHP