Twins offense explodes late for 9-4 victory over Detroit

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Jul. 10—The Twins probably don't want to make a habit of it, but having their offense wake up late has worked so far in this four-game series against the Detroit Tigers.

Jorge Polanco and Alex Kirilloff homered, and Luis Arraez broke it open with a bases-loaded single as Minnesota exploded for nine runs in the last three innings to beat the Tigers 9-4 in front of 21,030 fans Saturday afternoon at Target Field.

"It's a beautiful thing when you stay at it and have the at-bats you're looking for and you put some runs across the board," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "You get some baserunners, you look for a big swing."

It was a bullpen day for the Tigers, and the Twins put only three runners on base against three pitchers in the first five innings. But they put a combined 10 on base in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings on seven hits and three walks.

On Thursday, the Twins were no-hit for five innings before rallying for a 5-3 victory, and they didn't get a hit until Max Kepler's single in the fifth in Friday night's 4-2 win.

Polanco had the big blow Saturday, roping a home run into the porch in right field with Andrelton Simmons, who beat out an infield single, and Arraez, who walked, on base to give the Twins a 5-4 lead in the seventh.

With a win on Sunday afternoon, the Twins would earn their first four-game sweep of the season and win four in a row for just the third time this season. It also would pull the Twins into a third-place tie with Detroit in the American League Central heading into the all-star break.

"That would be really big for us," Polanco said. "We need those wins. Like I said, we are putting our best into winning, and it happens."

Derek Law, Danny Coulombe, Alex Colome and Tyler Duffey combined to throw 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief as the Twins beat the Tigers for the sixth time in eight meetings. Coulombe (1-0) gave up two hits and struck out one in 1 1/3 innings to earn the victory.

Kirilloff hit a two-run, 429-foot home run into the second deck in right-center off Erasmo Ramirez to cut the Tigers' lead to 4-2 in the sixth inning. In the eighth, the Twins loaded the bases on walks by Miguel Sano and Simmons and a single by pinch-hitter Josh Donaldson.

With one out and a full count, Arraez slapped an opposite-field single down the left-field line to score Miguel Sano and Donaldson, making it 7-5.

Arraez said he didn't change his approach with two strikes because he never does.

"I want to hit the ball to the field. I want to put the ball in play and the runner on third score," he said. "So, I want to put the ball in play."

Simmons moved to third, and Arraez to second when Niko Goodrum bobbled Arraez's hit.

That brought left-hander Ian Krol out of the bullpen. His first pitch was wild, scoring Simmons. When catcher Eric Haase mishandled the rebound, Arraez came home for a 9-4 lead.

Goodrum and Zack Short hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning off Twins starter Bailey Ober to start the scoring.

Ober walked Haase and Jeimer Candelario to start the fourth and they scored on a single by Harold Castro and a sacrifice fly by Short to put Detroit up 4-0.

He lasted 3 1/3 innings and was charged with four earned runs on four hits and two walks. He fanned four, three in the first inning.

"Just lack of execution, mainly, with my pitches," the rookie said. "I probably was trying to be too fine. Ended up just throwing a couple of waste pitches, really, non-competitive pitches that weren't near the zone, and I ended up going into deep counts and a lot of 3-2 counts. So that's kind of where this whole day kind of went."

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