Correa's four RBIs lead Twins to win over Tigers
DETROIT (AP) — Carlos Correa homered and drove in four runs as the Minnesota Twins won their season-best fifth straight game with a 9-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.
The Twins (60-54) also got a homer and three RBIs from Ryan Jeffers, improving to 15-8 since the All-Star break.
“The biggest part of this game is consistency,” said Jeffers, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games. “We're finally pulling the offense, pitching and bullpen together and getting some good games.”
Pablo López (7-6) won his second straight start, holding Detroit scoreless for seven innings. He gave up five hits and didn't walk a batter while striking out eight. The Tigers only had one runner reach scoring position against him.
“We talk to him about attacking the zone and he's attacking the zone,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He had good command and he threw strikes.”
Joey Wentz (2-10) took the loss, allowing eight runs on 10 hits and a walk in three innings. Wentz is now 0-6 with a 6.61 in 15 career appearances at Comerica Park.
“His (strike-) zone percentage on his offspeed pitches was well below average tonight, and when you don't have a pitch to go out outside the fastball, that offense can do some damage,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “I think Jeffers hit a changeup, but Correa was sitting fastball all the way.”
The Twins took control early, scoring four times in the first inning and three in the second.
“It's always good to get on a little roll, with big swings and really good pitching,” Baldelli said. “It doesn't always come together like that, but when it does, it is a lot of fun.”
Donovan Solano led off the game with a double and scored on Correa's one-out double. Max Kepler followed with an infield single and Jeffers hit his ninth homer of the year to put the Twins up 4-0.
After the nine-batter first, Solano led off the second with a single and took second on Jorge Polanco's base hit. Correa hit Minnesota's second three-run homer of the game to make it a 7-0 game.
Michael A. Taylor made it 8-0 with a third-inning RBI groundout.
Tigers closer Alex Lange walked the bases loaded in the eighth before hitting Kepler to increase the margin to nine.
“We know Alex is going to miss bats, but giving up free baserunners is just not a path of success you can sustain,” Hinch said of his struggling closer. “I'm (going to) root for him and keep pushing him, but this was a step back.”
Utilityman Zack Short pitched for the second time in four days and the fifth time this season. He threw a scoreless ninth inning, getting his first career strikeout when Taylor missed a 70.7 eephus.
Nick Maton hit a three-run homer in the ninth.
RUNNING OUT OF ARMS
Hinch used his top-three relievers - Tyler Holton, Jason Foley and Lange - one day after the Tigers gave up 10 runs to Tampa Bay.
“I used everyone that was available today - that's obviously not a game those three would normally pitch,” he said. “We're really in a bind right now, so we'll be discussing our options.”
López is 2-1 in his last four starts with a 1.80 ERA and 28 strikeouts against three walks in 25 innings.
The teams play the second of four games on Tuesday, with Minnesota RHP Sonny Gray (5-4, 3.18) facing Detroit LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (7-5, 2.96) in a battle of aces.
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