MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Marwin Gonzalez singled home Willians Astudillo in the eighth inning, and the Minnesota Twins rallied to beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2 and sweep Friday’s doubleheader.
Astudillo served as Minnesota’s automatic runner at second in the eighth inning of the seven-inning game. Gonzalez hit a grounder up the middle, and Detroit center fielder Derek Hill, making his major league debut, bobbled the ball, allowing Astudillo to score easily.
Sergio Romo (1-1) pitched a perfect seventh and Trevor May picked up his second save in four chances as Minnesota won its fourth straight game.
Adding to the oddity of playing the eighth as an extra inning and having a runner start on second base, the Twins were the road team for the second game. The game was originally postponed in Detroit on Aug. 28 due to inclement weather.
“Circumstances, they are a little crazy, a little odd,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. “You’re reminding yourself what inning it is. You’re reminding yourself that if you score and go ahead, that the game’s not over. You do have to remind yourself of a few things. I don’t think our guys let anything get to them.”
Joe Jimenez (1-3) allowed Gonzalez’s hit to take the loss after Gregory Soto blew a save in the seventh. Soto walked the first two batters of the inning and Jorge Polanco followed with an RBI single.
“He’s been fine,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said of Soto. “He’s just misfiring. His arm slot wasn’t working today. He threw some good pitches. He tried some breaking balls, they were just really not there. The only issue with him is not stuff at all, it’s whether he can control himself and throw the ball over the plate.”
Miguel Cabrera had a pair of hits for Detroit and three hits in the doubleheader, tying Brooks Robinson for 48th on the career list with 2,848.
Jonathan Schoop added an RBI triple for the Tigers, but he was left stranded as the runner at second in the bottom of the eighth.
“It’s tough to swallow,” Schoop said. “But they scored. Polanco had a good at-bat. They scored to tie the game but you’ve got to forget about it and come back tomorrow.”
Brent Rooker singled in Polanco in the third for his first major league hit and RBI for the Twins.
“I felt comfortable at the plate all day,” Rooker said. “I was happy with the swings I took, the approach I had, I thought my timing was pretty good. Being able to get on base, however it was, whether it was HBP, or whatever, the first at-bat kind of lightens the load a little bit and takes some pressure off, eases your mind.”
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