DETROIT -- Kyle Gibson faced Miguel Cabrera with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, clinging to a one-run lead. He delivered the pitch and got the result he wanted.

Gibson's sinker inside was hit into an inning-ending double play to help the Minnesota Twins keep their slim lead in a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

"It was a big pitch," Gibson acknowledged. "If you want to win a game and you want have a good outing, you've got to make that pitch against one of the best hitters in the game."

Gibson threw seven innings and Eduardo Escobar hit a solo homer in the third and drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth, helping Minnesota win three straight for the first time in nearly a month and pull within three games of the AL Central-leading Tigers.

Gibson (6-5) allowed five hits and two walks while striking out three. He threw seven scoreless innings for a second straight start and held an opponent without a run for the third time in four outings.

Casey Fien pitched a perfect eighth and Glen Perkins gave up one hit in the ninth, closing the game for his 17th save in 19 chances.

Drew Smyly (3-4) gave up one run, four hits and three walks over six innings.

Al Alburquerque and Joba Chamberlain each threw a scoreless inning of relief.

Minnesota added to its lead in the ninth against former Twin Joe Nathan.

Josh Willingham reached on a throwing error by shortstop Eugenio Suarez to lead off the ninth. Pinch-runner Sam Fuld advanced on a wild pitch and got to third on a groundout. Nathan later gave up a two-out walk to Trevor Plouffe and hit Eduardo Nunez to load the bases. Escobar walked to make it 2-0, chasing Nathan, who was booed as he walked to the dugout.

Phil Coke entered and struck out Danny Santana to keep the Tigers within two runs.

Since a 27-12 start, Detroit has lost 17 of 24 games and it has struggled even more at home lately, losing 11 of 15 at Comerica Park.

 

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