Twins sweep Tigers, inch closer to WC berth 25 Sep 17

DETROIT — The Twins took care of business yet again versus the Tigers, reaching double digits in scoring for the third time in four games with a 10-4 rout to complete a critical four-game sweep on Sunday at Comerica Park. Minnesota outscored the Tigers, 39-12, en route to its first four-game sweep in Detroit since Sept. 10-13, 2004.

With the victory, the Twins maintained their 4 1/2-game lead over the Angels, who won Sunday night, while pushing the Royals and Rangers 5 1/2 back. Minnesota has six games remaining, and the magic number to clinch its first postseason berth since 2010 is three. The loss was Detroit’s seventh in a row.

“It was a really nice response from the guys coming in here,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “I think everyone has their expectations to play well and win our share. But we ended up winning four, which was huge with the timing with where we’re at.”

Tigers right-hander Buck Farmer struggled, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks over five innings. Reliever Chad Bell also gave up four runs, while recording two outs, as Minnesota put the game away with a five-run sixth.

Eduardo Escobar led the charge offensively for the Twins with a three-run homer, giving him 20 homers and 69 RBIs on the year. Jorge Polanco homered in the first and doubled in the fifth, while Joe Mauer also had a two-run single as part of the outburst in the sixth.

The offense backed right-hander Jose Berrios, who lasted five frames, surrendering two runs on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Both runs came in the fifth, with Berrios throwing two wild pitches — including one that allowed a run to score — and Alex Presleybringing home a run with a single.

“He was commanding his fastball a lot better,” said Ian Kinsler, whose two-run homer in the ninth inning provided the final margin. “He didn’t throw it at a high velocity like he normally does. He tapered back a little bit and really commanded his fastball well. We all know he’s got a good slider and a good curve, so when he’s commanding his fastball, it makes it more difficult.”