DETROIT (AP) — Tommy Milone held Detroit scoreless until the ninth inning, and the Minnesota Twins broke through with five runs in the seventh in a 6-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
Brian Dozier hit a two-run homer, Eduardo Nunez had three RBIs and Milone (3-2) breezed through the Detroit lineup until the ninth, when the Tigers finally chased him from the game. Down 6-0 at the start of the inning, Detroit scored twice and actually had the tying run at the plate with one out when James McCann came up with the bases loaded against Brandon Kintzler.
McCann and Jose Iglesias both struck out to end it.
Milone allowed two runs and four hits in 8 1/3 innings. The Tigers had only one hit before the ninth.
Anibal Sanchez (5-11) allowed three runs in six-plus innings, an encouraging sign for Detroit after he entered the game with a 6.75 ERA. Sanchez allowed seven hits and two walks, striking out 10. His line would have been even better, but the two runners on base when he was pulled in the seventh both came around to score.
Nunez opened the scoring in the third with a sacrifice fly, and Sanchez and Milone were locked in an impressive duel until the Detroit right-hander allowed a walk and a single to start the seventh. Bruce Rondon came on in relief, and after a sacrifice bunt, Nunez poked a two-run single to center.
Nunez stole second and scored on Joe Mauer’s two-out single. Dozier followed with his 16th homer of the season to make it 6-0.
Milone hadn’t pitched more than six innings in a game all season, but he’s now won all three of his starts in July. It looked like he had a good chance for his first career shutout, but he allowed consecutive singles to Cameron Maybin, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez to start the bottom of the ninth. He came out of the game after a sacrifice fly by Nick Castellanos made it 6-2.
Tigers: Manager Brad Ausmus remained noncommittal about a timetable for LHP Daniel Norris (right oblique strain) to return. Norris made a rehab start Monday night, but there may not be any rush to bring him back after Sanchez’s solid outing.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana (3-8) starts Wednesday in the finale of this three-game series. He has a 2.18 ERA in his last five starts.
Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander (9-6) takes the mound, trying for his sixth win in seven decisions.