Twins Keep Tigers From Clinching AL Central With Another Rout
DETROIT -- Eduardo Escobar had a homer, four hits and a career-high six RBIs, and the Minnesota Twins ensured that the AL Central race will come down to the very end with a 12-3 rout of the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.
Detroit entered the night with a one-game lead over second-place Kansas City, but the Tigers fell short of clinching. Minnesota scored six runs in the fifth. Escobar and Eric Fryer both hit two-run singles during that big rally, and Escobar added a three-run homer in the eighth.
Rookie Kyle Lobstein (1-2) allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings for the Tigers.
Ricky Nolasco (6-12) allowed two runs and five hits, including a solo homer by Detroit's Nick Castellanos in the second.
The Tigers have secured a postseason spot, but the division will still be in doubt when they send David Price to the mound Sunday against Minnesota in Game 162.
If the Tigers fail to win their fourth straight division title, they'll be able to point to their struggles against the last-place Twins as a major reason. Beginning with a series in late August, Minnesota has scored 85 runs in 10 games against Detroit, winning six of them.
Castellanos put the Tigers up 1-0, but Lobstein -- the left-hander who has given Detroit an unexpected lift down the stretch -- couldn't hold off the Twins in the fifth. Minnesota hit eight singles that inning.
Detroit's best chance to come back came in the sixth, when the Tigers loaded the bases with nobody out. J.D. Martinez popped out, and Detroit only scored one run that inning.
Tigers left-hander Robbie Ray pitched for the first time in the majors since Sept. 3. Brian Dozier hit Ray's first pitch over the fence in left field for his 23rd homer of the year, a solo shot that gave Minnesota a 9-2 lead in the eighth.
Ray later allowed the homer to Escobar, who had never driven in more than three runs in a game.
Chris Herrmann had three hits for Minnesota.
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