Detroit — The Tigers kept finding ways to push runs across the plate Monday.
There’s a sentence you haven’t read much this season, but they rallied out of an early hole, took advantage of a fatal defensive miscue and beat the Central Division-leading Minnesota Twins 7-5 in the first of a five-game, four-day set at Comerica Park.
A two-out, two-base throwing error by first baseman Jose Miranda with the game tied at 4 in the seventh inning opened the doors for the game-winning push.
BOX SCORE: Tigers 7, Twins 5
It looked like the Tigers were going to squander a lead-off triple by Jonathan Schoop, who produced three hits on the day. After Javier Báez grounded out, Schoop tried to score on another infield ground ball by Jeimer Candelario.
He was thrown out in a rundown but Candelario hustled into second. Spencer Torkelson rolled a ground ball to first base that should have ended the inning, but Miranda threw the ball behind pitcher Joe Smith.
Candelario scored and Torkelson went to second. He was credited with a single, his third hit of the game — the first three-hit game of his young career.
Willi Castro singled Torkelson home with the sixth run. It was the second RBI single for Castro.
The Twins scored an unearned run off reliever Alex Lange in the eighth. With two outs and catcher Gary Sanchez at first, Gio Urshela (three hits) doubled down the line in left. Willi Castro did not pick up the ball cleanly and Sanchez was able to lumber all the way home.
The Tigers got that run back in the bottom of the eighth on the legs of Derek Hill. He walked, took second on a passed ball, then with two outs scored on an infield single by Baez.
Miranda, again, tried to make a long stretch on the throw from third baseman Urshela but the ball caromed off his glove allowing Hill to score.
The Tigers produced 13 hits, the most since they had 20 on April 23 against Colorado.
They don’t call the Twins the Bomba Squad anymore, but you’d have a hard time convincing Beau Brieske of that.
They ruined Brieske’s start Monday hitting three home runs off him.
The Tigers’ rookie right-hander was one strike away from posting a quality start and leaving the sixth inning with a 4-3 lead when Urshela launched a 3-2 change-up over 406 feet over the left-field fence.
It was the 10th home run Brieske has allowed in 36 innings this season. And it was the third mislocated pitch the Twins put into the seats against him Monday.
Sanchez smashed a center-cut 1-0 fastball leading off the second inning and sent it into the visitor’s bullpen in left-center field.
Then in the fourth, with one out and one on, Brieske hung a 1-2 curveball to Miranda who sent it up into the breeze blowing out to left field, barely clearing the fence.
The Tigers answered both of those volleys.
Hill tested the 12-mph wind stream blowing out to left in the third inning. He was out in front of a breaking ball from Twins starter Dylan Bundy and launched it mostly with one hand. Statcast gave it a .070 expected batting average, but it kept flying, just clearing the left-field fence for Hill’s first homer of the season.
It was the sixth lowest expected batting average on a home run ball in the big leagues this season.
The Tigers strung three straight hits together off Bundy in the fourth. Candelario singled and scored on a rocket double to the gap in left-center by Torkelson. The ball left Torkelson’s bat with an exit velocity of 109.5 mph.
Torkelson scored on a single by Willi Castro.
Torkelson, Candelario and Schoop each had a pair of hits off Bundy.
Schoop’s second hit was a one-out double in the fifth. It was his 1,000th career hit making him one of only three players from Curacao to produce at least 1,000 big-league hits.
Schoop scored on a bloop single by Candelario, giving the Tigers a 4-3 lead.
Brieske, approaching 90 pitches in the sixth, was treading water. He got superb defensive plays by Daz Cameron in right and Torkelson at first for the first two outs. Against Urshela, he threw a 3-2 fastball that was fouled back.
He came back with a change-up and it stayed up and over the plate. Urshela blasted his fifth home run of the season to tie the game.
Brieske getting into the sixth was a win for a Tigers’ bullpen that had covered 28 innings over the last seven games. With a doubleheader on Tuesday and with no off day until next Monday, it was vital Brieske provide some length in this game — which he did despite the rocky first couple of innings.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism