DETROIT (AP) — Alex Avila’s double in the eighth inning that appeared to hit a fan in the stands down the left-field line scored Jhonny Peralta from first base and the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 6-5 Monday.
With Peralta on first and two outs, Avila hit a ball down the line that rattled along the short fence as fans reached over for it.
Umpires stopped the play after the ball appeared to strike the fan, but they let the run stand instead of sending Peralta back to third. Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire came out to argue and was ejected.
Al Alburquerque (2-1) pitched an inning of scoreless relief, and Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his 13th save.
Alex Burnett (1-4) lost.
The struggling Twins also lost right fielder Jason Kubel to a sprained left foot after six innings. X-rays were negative, and Kubel is day-to-day.
Minnesota led 5-3 after scoring four runs in the fifth, but the Tigers tied it in the sixth on a two-run homer by Victor Martinez.
Detroit squandered a bases-loaded, nobody-out chance in the seventh when Austin Jackson and pinch-hitter Casper Wells struck out and Brennan Boesch hit a groundball to end the inning.
Brad Penny pitched six innings for Detroit, allowing five runs on 10 hits. He walked one and struck out two.
Penny looked sharp at the start, and the Tigers took an early 3-0 lead. Jackson led off the bottom of the first with a double and later scored on a groundout by Boesch. Miguel Cabrera followed with his 10th homer of the season, a low line drive over the wall in left.
Andy Dirks added an RBI double in the third.
Michael Cuddyer hit an RBI single in the fourth for Minnesota, and the Twins then broke through against Penny the following inning. Minnesota got RBI singles from Rene Rivera, Kubel and Cuddyer and a sacrifice fly from Justin Morneau.
Minnesota starter Nick Blackburn went six-plus innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. He struck out three and walked one.
Notes: Detroit 2B Ryan Raburn had his first hit at home since April 27. … Tigers LHP Phil Coke, on the DL with a bone bruise in his right foot, is expected to pitch at Triple-A on Friday before making a start for the Tigers on June 8. … Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
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