Minnesota 6, Detroit 2
When: 7:08 PM ET, Saturday, September 26, 2015
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
Jim Reynolds, 1B -
Clint Fagan, 2B -
Mike Winters, 3B -
DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers have their eyes on 2016, but the Minnesota Twins aren't quite ready to say goodbye to 2015.
The Twins still have unfinished business this season as they try to sneak past the Houston Astros into the second American League wild-card playoff spot.
Veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki did his part with a tiebreaking RBI single in Minnesota's two-run seventh inning and the Twins got a two-run homer in the ninth from shortstop Eduardo Escobar to remain 1 1/2 games behind Houston after a 6-2 win over the Tigers.
"The games are dwindling," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "The last thing we want to do is lose games."
Twins general manager Terry Ryan said, "If we're going to run somebody down, we've got to start winning games while we're still within striking distance.
"But this is where you want to be -- with a chance to make the playoffs in the last week of the season."
Minnesota right fielder Torii Hunter walked with one out in the seventh and center fielder Aaron Hicks singled. Suzuki grounded a single to left, scoring Hunter. Hicks stole third and scored when Escobar grounded into a forceout.
Suzuki had his third single of the game with two outs in the ninth and came home on Escobar's 12th home run of the season, off left-hander Kyle Lobstein.
Rookie right-hander Tyler Duffey (5-1) defeated Detroit for the second time this season, scattering eight hits with one walk and three strikeouts in six innings. Right-handers Blaine Boyer, Trevor May and Kevin Jepsen worked the last three innings to nail down the game.
"It's like Torii preaches," Duffey said. "Let it go. Play the next day. I think we did that.
"We scored some runs early. I tried to cough it up, but I couldn't."
Right-hander Alfredo Simon (13-11) gave up eight hits in eight innings with a walk and four strikeouts. Detroit had a three-game winning streak snapped.
New Tigers general manager Al Avila announced before Saturday's game that manager Brad Ausmus and his staff will be back next season, ending speculation they would not survive the transition from fired GM Dave Dombrowski to Avila.
"I'm happy to be back, for sure," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of his return. "It's been a disappointing season ... but the core group that is here affords the opportunity for a quick turnaround. We expect to win in 2016."
The Tigers tied the score 2-2 in the fourth when first baseman Miguel Cabrera singled and went to third on a ground-rule double to left center by right fielder J.D. Martinez.
Third baseman Nick Castellanos delivered an RBI double and rookie catcher James McCann added a run-scoring single.
Escobar tripled to open the third for Minnesota and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by second baseman Brian Dozier, putting the Twins ahead 2-0.
Dozier doubled as the first batter in the game, went to third on a sharp single to right by first baseman Joe Mauer and scored when rookie designated hitter Miguel Sano reached base on an error by Detroit shortstop Dixon Machado.
Suzuki threw Machado out on a safety squeeze try with runners at first and third with one out in the fourth. He also threw out center fielder Anthony Gose when he tried to bunt for a base hit with two out in the seventh.
NOTES: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said GM Al Avila told him Friday morning he would be coming back next year. The coaches and players were told just prior to Saturday’s game. ... Twins RHP Trevor May, who had not pitched since Sept. 19 because of lower back problems, pitched a scoreless inning on Saturday. ... Minnesota LHP Tommy Milone threw a bullpen Saturday and could return to action next week. ... Detroit SS Jose Iglesias will need to show he can swing a bat in the next day or two, otherwise the chip fracture on his right middle finger will not allow him to return to the field this season.
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