DETROIT (AP) — A hanging slider and several wasted opportunities was too much for the Minnesota Twins to overcome.
Prince Fielder hit a tiebreaking three-run homer and Delmon Young added a solo shot in a five-run eighth inning that rallied the Detroit Tigers to a 7-3 victory over the Twins on Thursday.
Minnesota, which had 15 hits and left nine runners on base, had a chance to win three of four in the series but had to settle for a split after failing to hold a 3-2 lead.
Detroit’s rally wasted another good outing by Scott Diamond. He was in line for his eighth win after allowing two runs and five hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out four in the process.
“He threw the ball great — in and out. You saw him keep them off balance,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He pitched a solid seven innings in that kind of heat.”
Diamond came out after seven innings because of upper 80-degree heat and high humidity. He also took a ball off the right shin off the bat of Young in the fourth, and had a swollen bruise after the game.
He was replaced by Alex Burnett (2-1), who retired the first batter but then surrendered a triple down the right-field line to Austin Jackson. He then walked pinch hitter Quintin Berry.
Gardenhire thought that was the key to the inning.
“You have to attack the pinch hitter . You can’t put him on in front of (Miguel) Cabrera and Fielder,” the Minnesota manager said. “It’s a bad combination when you have to face Cabrera and Fielder.”
Cabrera hit a ground single up the middle to score Jackson and tie the game.
“I wanted Cabrera to hit a ground ball right at somebody,” Burnett said. “He hit one at me and I didn’t have time to react.”
That was it for Burnett, who was charged with three runs and two hits in a third of an inning.
Tyler Robertson came on and hung a 1-0 slider to Fielder, who hit it into the right-field stands, an estimated 384 feet away.
“Just hung a slider to him (Fielder) and he did with it what he’s supposed to do,” Robertson said. “It wasn’t good pitch . . . That happens when you don’t make pitches.”
Fielder credited Cabrera, Jackson and Berry for setting it up for him.
“It’s exciting. Like I said, Miguel took a lot of the pressure off. I can’t say enough about the way he played today,” said Fielder about Cabrera, who was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. “Like I said, I’m just glad those three guys in the eighth there really set the tone.”
Young followed with a long ball off an 0-1 pitch from Anthony Swarzak.
Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the second on three consecutive singles. Brian Dozier got the RBI single on a bouncer up the middle to give the Twins runners on first and third with one out.
But two consecutive runners were thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Carroll hit a chopper down the third base line and Cabrera charged the ball, picked it up and made a perfect running throw to Laird, who tagged out a sliding Darin Mastroianni.
Dozier advanced to second on the play and Denard Span followed with a line single that left fielder Ryan Raburn corralled before throwing out Dozier at the plate.
“We left a bunch of runners on base and had guys thrown out at home,” Gardenhire said.
The Twins extended their lead to 3-0 in the fourth on an infield RBI single by Span and a run-scoring line single to left by Joe Mauer.
Cabrera’s RBI single put Detroit on the board in the fourth.
The Tigers pulled to 3-2 in the fourth on Brennan Boesch’s run-scoring double into the left-center gap. It scored Jhonny Peralta, who led off with a single and moved to second on an error on the same play by by Dozier at short.
NOTES: The start of the game was delayed by rain for 1 hour, 22 minutes. It was the third straight game in the series that began after a rain delay. … The Twins open a three-game series at Texas on Friday night. Francisco Liriano (2-7. 5.40) will oppose the Rangers’ Martin Perez (1-0, 9.00). . Minnesota optioned IF Chris Parmelee to Triple-A Rochester and selected RHP Sam Dedundo from the same team. Gardenhire said Dedundo will start Saturday.
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