MINNEAPOLIS – Brandon Inge’s 10th-inning double off Joe Nathan drove in Timo Perez, pushing the Detroit Tigers past the Minnesota Twins 4-3 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep of the defending AL Central champions.
Placido Polanco and Gary Sheffield hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the seventh inning for the Tigers, who have baseball’s best record. Todd Jones recorded his 26th save in 30 tries to extend Detroit’s lead in the division over third-place Minnesota to nine games.
Jason Kubel homered for the Twins, who got a solid start from Scott Baker and another dominant relief appearance by setup man Pat Neshek – but nothing to show for them. Center fielder Torii Hunter (hamstring) and right fielder Michael Cuddyer (thumb) were held out of the lineup, which sure didn’t help.
Perez, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Toledo before the game, was filling in for left fielder Marcus Thames – who went to the disabled list with a pulled hamstring. Perez walked to start the 10th against Nathan (3-2), moved up on a sacrifice bunt and came around to score on Inge’s double.
Zach Miner (1-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the victory, and the Tigers won for the 17th time in their last 21 road games.
Blue Jays 3, Yankees 2
NEW YORK (AP) – Vernon Wells’ tapper rolled to a stop for an infield hit, and the Blue Jays rallied for three runs in the seventh inning to end the Yankees’ five-game winning streak.
Toronto trailed 2-0 when Matt Stairs led off the inning with a long fly for a double. That was a change for the Blue Jays – by the fourth inning, all but two of their batters had grounded out against Chien-Ming Wang’s sinker.
Wang (10-5) jammed Wells and the powerful No. 3 hitter managed just a slow tapper up the third-base line. But Wang had no play, and Troy Glaus followed with a fly to the warning track in center, allowing Stairs and Wells to tag up. Frank Thomas drove in a run with a one-hop groundout that deflected off Wang’s leg, making it 2-1.
Aaron Hill was next and he hit a tying triple that center fielder Melky Cabrera couldn’t cut off. Gregg Zaun completed the comeback with an RBI single.
Dustin McGowan (6-5) gave up four hits in seven innings and Casey Janssen pitched a perfect eighth. Jeremy Accardo worked around a leadoff single by Alex Rodriguez in the ninth for his 14th save in 17 chances.
Angels 3, Devil Rays 0
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Kelvim Escobar won his career-best fifth consecutive decision and Garret Anderson drove in two runs to help the AL West Division-leading Angels avoid a three-game sweep.
Escobar (11-3) gave up nine hits over 7 2-3 innings. He struck out five and walked three, and hasn’t lost in eight starts since May 31.
Anderson hit a two-run single in the sixth off Andy Sonnanstine (1-5) to put the Angels ahead 3-0. Vladimir Guerrero, who singled earlier in the inning, scored on Anderson’s hit for his 1,000th career run.
Scot Shields retired his only batter in the eighth with a runner on second before Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 27 opportunities.