Twins avoid sweep with 11-5 rout of Tigers
DETROIT (AP) — Max Kepler, Miguel Sano and Robbie Grossman all homered for Minnesota, and the Twins took advantage of an uncharacteristically wild outing by Jordan Zimmermann in an 11-5 rout of the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.
Zimmermann (1-1) allowed five runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings, walking a career-high five. Anibal Sanchez was even worse for the Tigers in relief, allowing six runs in 1 1/3 innings and letting two of Zimmermann’s runners score on Kepler’s three-run homer in the fifth.
Grossman hit a two-run shot in the third, and Sano connected for a three-run homer in the sixth.
Phil Hughes (2-0) allowed four runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. Justin Haley worked the final 3 1/3 innings to earn his first career save, striking out six.
The Twins avoided a three-game sweep at Detroit and pulled even with the Tigers atop the AL Central.
Miguel Cabrera and Justin Upton each hit their first home run of the season for the Tigers.
Zimmermann hadn’t walked two consecutive batters since May 6, 2012, but he walked three of the first four in the fourth. Eddie Rosario’s RBI single put the Twins up 3-2.
Zimmermann walked two more batters in the fifth and was replaced by Sanchez with two out. The first batter Sanchez faced was Kepler, whose drive to right gave Minnesota a 6-2 advantage.
The Twins broke the game completely open with five runs in the sixth. Sano’s home run cleared the wall in center and made it 10-2.
Cabrera opened the scoring with a solo homer in the first for his first extra-base hit of the season. Upton’s two-run shot in the sixth was his first home run of the year.
Zimmermann allowed only one hit through the first two innings and was an out away from getting through the third when Brian Dozier singled and Grossman followed with a homer to right that tied the game at 2.
Tigers: Detroit is without RF J.D. Martinez, who is out with a sprained right foot. In his absence, Tyler Collins has gone 7 for 20. He singled, walked and scored Thursday.
Twins: LHP Adalberto Mejia (0-1) starts Friday night against Dylan Covey of the Chicago White Sox in the opener of a three-game series at Minnesota.
Tigers: Detroit begins a three-game set at Cleveland with LHP Daniel Norris on the mound against RHP Trevor Bauer (0-1). The Tigers were 4-14 against the Indians last year.