MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 with a Josmil Pinto walk-off single in the 11th inning at Target Field on Monday. The win delayed any Detroit postseason plans for another day.
Down 3-0 in the eighth, the Twins battered the Tigers bullpen for two runs. They got on the board when Jose Vargas walked Clete Thomas and Eduardo Escobar hit a double to the left-field wall scoring Thomas. Pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit doubled to right scoring Escobar and the Twins were in the game.
In the ninth, Brian Dozier, who had struggled at the plate all evening, hit his 18th homer of the season over the left-field fence to tie the game.
Dozier led off the 11th with a single to left, moved to second on a wild pitch and then scored on Pinto's rocket to right.
The Twins overcame Tigers starter Justin Verlander, who struck out 12 in a playoff-ready performance. Verlander left with a 1-0 lead after six innings. He threw 107 pitches in six innings, giving up six hits and three walks.
The Twins, who watched Oakland clinch the American League West the previous night, refused to watch another team celebrate as the Tigers would have clinched a playoff berth with a win.
Twins Mike Pelfrey lasted six innings, giving up one run on six hits and three walks with five strikeouts.
Casey Fien relieved Pelfrey in the seventh and gave up a double to Torii Hunter, his second double in as many at-bats. Miguel Cabrera drove in Hunter with a single. After Prince Fielder singled to right, Victor Martinez doubled to right driving in Cabrera for a 3-0 Detroit lead.
But the Twins rallied and got their manager Ron Gardenhire his 998th career victory.
Anthony Swarzak earned the win for the Twins, while Luke Putkonen took the loss.
Verlander was practically unhittable with his fastball clocked in the high 90s and a nasty curve fooling the Twins in the early going. He struck out 10 of the first 15 batters he faced -- five of them looking.
NOTES: The Twins announced before the game that Joe Mauer had been shut down for the remainder of the season. Mauer has been out of the lineup since Aug. 20 suffering from a concussion and related symptoms. Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was scratched before the game due to a bruised knee suffered in pregame warmups. ... Verlander reached 200 strikeouts on the season, his fifth consecutive season with at least 200 Ks. ... The Tigers entered the game leading the American League with 1,580 hits, a team batting average of .286 and a .349 on-base percentage.
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