Minnesota Twins win it in 10 innings following Detroit Tigers' late-innings comeback


AP Sports Writer

MINNEAPOLIS — Max Kepler’s RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning against All-Star closer Gregory Soto gave the Minnesota Twins a 6-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.

Soto walked the bases loaded in the ninth before striking out Willians Astudillo on three pitches, finishing him with a 100 mph fastball and a hard pump of his arm. Soto had two outs in the 10th, but then came a walk and Kepler’s ninth career game-ending hit.

“I don’t know if I was totally expecting to catch 10 in this heat like I did,” Minnesota catcher

Mitch Garver said. “I’m proud of the guys. That was a good performance there.”

Detroit manager A.J. Hinch didn’t flinch about sending out Soto again. The last time the left-hander pitched more than one inning was on July 7.

“The emotions of finishing the inning was really good, and Gregory can go as long as we need him to go,” Hinch said.

The line drive to center field was plenty deep to score pitcher Kenta Maeda, the scheduled starter for Tuesday who began the inning as the automatic runner at second. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli decided to forfeit the designated hitter with some earlier lineup shuffling.

“We don’t want to put any starting pitchers or any pitchers in that position, but we are teammates and we enjoy seeing Kenta Maeda running. We’re so happy,” Twins starter Michael Pineda said.

Robbie Grossman’s pinch-hit, two-run homer tied the game for the Tigers with one out in the ninth after Twins All-Star closer Taylor Rogers exited with a sprained left middle finger. Alex Colome completed the walk to Jeimer Candelario, and Grossman hit the first pitch he saw for a high fly to left that landed just beyond the limestone facade.

Pineda pitched six smooth innings for the Twins in his final turn before the trade deadline. He held the Tigers scoreless until a two-out, two-run shot by Miguel Cabrera, career homer No. 495 for the two-time AL MVP.

Pineda had six strikeouts, with five hits and no walks allowed. The burly right-hander is one of several veterans on expiring contracts being shopped around this week, with the two-time defending AL Central champions Twins in last place.

Brent Rooker and Josh Donaldson homered and Garver doubled twice against Tigers starter Matt Manning, scoring on a single by Miguel Sano in the fourth. Rooker took Manning deep to start the sixth and snap a 2-all tie, reaching the third deck above left field for the second straight game. The homer was projected at 460 feet.