MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Max Kepler got a big early slam, and the single inside the field by Gio Urshela at the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Minnesota Twins a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers Monday night.
Urshela hit a shot to the Tigers shortstop Javier Báez, who could not play. This allowed Kepler, who threw his slam in the first inning, to score the winning run.
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“He’s not going to go up there trying to maybe hit one in the second fight. He’s trying to do something else,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said of Urshela. “It was just a game of finding a way, and finding a way.”
Urshela’s teammates assaulted him on the field after his blow at the end of the match, the third of his career.
This is the second time this season that the Twins have left the Tigers at Target Field. Minnesota won in a strange series of plays on April 26 against Detroit.
Emilio Pagan (1-1) threw two innings without relief goals to win the victory. Andrew Chafin (0-1) took the defeat.
It was the second day in a row that Urshela led in the decisive streak. His single on top of the ninth Sunday against Kansas City lifted the Twins to a 7-6 comeback victory.
“I’m just trying to do it every day,” Urshela said. “I sell here every day to win games.”
Kepler opened the scoring with his third slam of his career, and the third of the year for the Twins. He led Elvin Rodriguez to right field to give Minnesota a 4-0 lead in the first.
It was only the second major league appearance and Rodriguez’s first outing. The right-back bounced back after his unstable first inning and allowed just one more hit during the next four innings.
“It was a tough start for us,” Tigers coach AJ Hinch said. “I thought we overcame them apart from the first entry and the last entry.”
The Minnesota attack was silenced after Kepler’s grand slam. The Twins only had one hit for the next six innings, and the Tigers tied the game in the seventh.
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Twins starter Chris Archer only allowed one run, but only lasted four innings. The right-handed veteran has not thrown more than 4 1/3 innings in any of his eight starts this year.
Luis Arraez hit base four times for the Twins, including hits in the fifth and eighth. He is batting .349, fourth best in the majors.
“What’s on the plate is beyond the realm where the rest of us live,” Baldelli said. “I’m glad we can send him five times a night to do the harm he does.”
Kepler’s grand slam was the Twins’ 1,000th home run at Target Field since the stadium opened in 2010.
ADVANCING THE LIST
With a first-half single, DH Tigers Miguel Cabrera hit his No. 3,023 hit of his career, tying Lou Brock in 28th place in MLB history. Cabrera also reached No. 3,024 in his career with a single RBI in the seventh inning.
“Obviously everything he’s achieved in his career is amazing, so it’s fun to go out and play with a guy like that,” Archer said.
Rod Carew is next with 3,053 views.
Tigers: RHP Matt Manning (right shoulder inflammation) will begin further rehabilitation on Tuesday for Triple-A Toledo. … RHP Will Vest (COVID-19 IL) is asymptomatic, but has not yet passed its first COVID-19 test, Hinch said.
RHP Beau Brieske (0-3, 5.13 ERA) will start his sixth race on Tuesday in search of his first victory. The Twins have RHP Sonny Gray (1-1, 3.48), who got his first win of the year in his last outing against Oakland.
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