Detroit 9, Minnesota 6
When: 2:10 PM ET, Sunday, July 23, 2017
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Will Little, 1B -
Jeff Kellogg, 2B -
Tim Timmons, 3B -
MINNEAPOLIS -- The longer the at-bat continued for Minnesota Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar against Detroit Twins pitcher Shane Greene in the seventh inning on Sunday, the more the tension built in an already long game.
Greene, reaching back for fastball after fastball, was just hoping Escobar would put the ball in play on the ground. Escobar was trying to give the Twins a lead and a comeback victory.
Greene won out, Detroit added insurance runs late as Minnesota again tried to creep back in the game, and the Tigers held on for a 9-6 win.
Jose Iglesias had three hits, including a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh inning, helping Detroit win the series with its 15th victory in its past 17 games at Minnesota's Target Field. The teams played for 4 hours, 19 minutes on Sunday, setting a Twins record for a nine-inning game.
"It was long, there's no question about that," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We can play some long games, but I'll play as long as we have to as long as we come up with a 'W.'"
Matthew Boyd pitched into the seventh inning to win his second consecutive start since being recalled from Triple-A. Ian Kinsler, James McCann and Alex Presley each added three hits for Detroit, which is 6-4 since the All-Star break.
Escobar hit a two-run homer for Minnesota, and Dozier added a solo shot in the ninth.
"You have to give credit when credit's due to the pitcher," Escobar said, through an interpreter, of his at-bat against Greene in the seventh. "He was throwing his best stuff to me. It's good to be part of that at-bat, but someone has to win in the end, and obviously he won."
Greene escaped a bases-loaded jam by striking out Escobar, and Justin Wilson closed out his 12th save in 14 chances with four outs. Wilson entered with two outs in the eighth after Bruce Rondon allowed two runs on a single by Joe Mauer.
Greene struck out Jason Castro looking and got rookie Zack Granite to hit a ground ball to second base for a possible double play. however, Kinsler had trouble picking up the ball, and a run scored on the error.
Greene came back to strike out Dozier and Escobar, the latter on a 13-pitch at-bat, to preserve the one-run lead.
"He's fearless," Ausmus said of Greene, who leads the league in appearances. "I don't really worry about the situation scaring him."
After being down 1-2, Escobar battled back in the at-bat and Greene threw a curveball for the ball three. Greene followed with five fastballs in a row before getting Escobar to swing through one.
"I wasn't going to give them another run, so I was just challenging him," Greene said.
The Tigers added two insurance runs in the eighth and three in the ninth.
"We hung in there with the game," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It's just disappointing when you keep fighting but you give up -- I don't know how many we gave up the last few innings - but crooked numbers each and every one."
Boyd (4-5) allowed three runs, four hits and three walks in six innings. The left-hander struck out a career-high eight batters.
Trevor Hildenberger (1-1) allowed Iglesias' homer to take the loss in relief of starter Adalberto Mejia. Hildenberger surrendered the two runs and four hits in 1 2/3 innings. Mejia yielded two runs (one earned) while throwing 96 pitches in 4 1/3 innings.
NOTES: Minnesota announced a trade of minor league RHP Nick Tepesch to the Toronto Blue Jays for cash considerations. ... The Twins also designated LHP Craig Breslow for assignment following the game. Breslow had a 5.23 ERA in 30 games for Minnesota after pitching a scoreless two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. ... Speaking before the game, Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said he doesn't think it's "inevitable" that the team would make another trade before the upcoming deadline. The Tigers sent OF J.D. Martinez to the Arizona Diamondbacks last week, and rumors have centered around LHP Justin Wilson, RHP Justin Verlander and 2B Ian Kinsler. ... Detroit 1B Miguel Cabrera was back in the lineup after missing a game with a right clavicle contusion. Cabrera went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and is now hitting a career-low .256 this season. ... Twins 3B Miguel Sano went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and a walk.
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