Twins stay on track in postseason race, beat Tigers

Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera prepares to bat during the first inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT (AP) — Max Kepler and Brian Dozier homered, Byron Buxton had three hits and the playoff-chasing Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3 on Friday night.

Buxton’s two-run double in the fourth put the Twins ahead to stay against a Detroit team that announced before the game that manager Brad Ausmus will not be back in 2018.

Minnesota came into the night leading the race for the American League’s second wild card by 2 ½ games over Texas and the Los Angeles Angels.

Kyle Gibson (12-10) allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings for the Twins. He struck out six and walked two.

Daniel Norris (4-8) allowed five runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Nicholas Castellanos and Ian Kinsler homered for Detroit, but the Tigers dropped to 4-18 in September.

The Twins trailed 2-1 when Buxton came up with men on first and second and one out in the fourth. His line drive looked catchable, but it slipped past third baseman Jeimer Candelario and down the line, scoring both runners. Buxton later came home on a single by Kepler.

Eduardo Escobar added an RBI single in the fifth, and Robbie Grossman’s run-scoring double in the sixth made it 6-2.

Castellanos opened the scoring with a solo homer in the second, but Kepler tied it the following inning with his 19th home run of the year. Kinsler’s RBI single in the third put Detroit up 2-1.

Kinsler later hit a solo homer in the sixth. Dozier’s home run, his 32nd, came in the ninth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: LF Mikie Mahtook was removed from the game after he had a hard time chasing Buxton’s fourth-inning double. Mahtook aggravated a left groin injury and was set to have an MRI.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Ervin Santana (15-8) takes the mound Saturday night against Detroit. Opponents are hitting .224 off him this year.

Tigers: LHP Matthew Boyd (6-10) makes his first start since having a no-hit bid broken up with two outs in the ninth last weekend.