DETROIT -- Ehire Adrianza couldn't have picked a better time to hit his first career grand slam.Widely recognized more for his versatility than his bat, Adrianza woke up Minnesota's quiet offense Tuesday night with a game-changing grand slam in the seventh inning to help the Twins capture a 6-4 come-from-behind win
DETROIT -- Ehire Adrianza couldn't have picked a better time to hit his first career grand slam.
Widely recognized more for his versatility than his bat, Adrianza woke up Minnesota's quiet offense Tuesday night with a game-changing grand slam in the seventh inning to help the Twins capture a 6-4 come-from-behind win over the Tigers at Comerica Park.
Grand slams mean 40% off pizza
"It feels really, really good, especially because I'm not a home run hitter," said Adrianza. "It was emotional."
Adrianza, the Twins' No. 8 hitter, is 9-for 20 with seven extra-base hits since June 5.
The win marked the second straight victory for the Twins (29-34), who moved a half game ahead of the Tigers (31-37) who suffered an even bigger loss following the season-ending injury to first baseman Jose Cabrera.
With the Twins trailing, 2-1, Eduardo Escobar hit a leadoff single in the seventh inning to force reliever-turned-starter Blaine Hardy's exit. Louis Coleman then issued a walk to cleanup hitter Miguel Sano before striking out Max Kepler and inducing a fly ball off the bat of pinch-hitter Jake Cave.
After Coleman issued a two-out walk to Logan Morrison to load the bases, Warwick Saupold was called upon to face the hot-hitting Adrianza, who turned on a 92-mph four-seamer.
It was the third homer this season for Adrianza, whose home run gave the Twins their first lead since the third inning. The 28-year-old utility infielder entered Tuesday hitting .240 with a pair of homers and 10 RBIs.
"Early in the year, the left-handed side of his swing was getting long and he was having trouble making adjustments," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "But he's been working on it."
And it's clear his hard work is starting to pay off.
"I'm just looking for opportunities to advance, score runs -- that's part of my game, that's who I am," Adrianza said.
Former Detroit reliever Fernando Rodney, who elected to use the Tigers' bullpen cart to be transported from the bullpen to the infield area, worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning en route to his 14th save.
The Tigers scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh, thanks largely to a pair of errors, but the Twins responded with an insurance run in the form of an RBI single off the bat of Sano, who plated Eddie Rosario to give Minnesota a decisive 6-4 lead.
A sacrifice fly by Michigan native Ryan LaMarre put the Twins on the board in the third inning. LaMarre, a University of Michigan alum, brought in Adrianza, who reached on an infield single, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
The Tigers responded the following inning with a pair of runs, highlighted by an RBI triple off the bat of Jose Iglesias, who scored on Leonys Martin's sacrifice fly to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
Twins starter Jake Odorizzi allowed two runs, but couldn't make it past the fifth inning. Odorizzi (3-3, 4.19 ERA) struck out four, but walked four and threw a wild pitch.
Odorizzi, who needed 22 pitches to escape both the first and second innings, threw 64 of his 102 pitches for strikes. He struggled to put away hitters, as evidenced by an 11-pitch at-bat to No. 9 hitter Dixon Machado that resulted in a single.
"He had one of those nights where the command wasn't there, especially with the fastball," Molitor said. "He was able to strand some runners and give us a chance."
Cabrera exited the game in the bottom of the third inning with what Tigers officials initially said was a left biceps tendon strain. An MRI determined it was in fact a rupture of the tendon, and Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed after the game that Cabrera will miss the rest of the season.
"He feels bad, he feels really bad," Gardenhire said. "He feels like he's letting people down."
Cabrera sustained the injury during his second at-bat when he swung at a 1-1 pitch. He immediately dropped his bat and grasped his left arm around the elbow and biceps area. Tigers utility man Niko Goodrum finished the at-bat as a pinch-hitter and struck out.
Odorizzi entered Tuesday's start having thrown the second-most pitches per inning among pitchers with at least 11 starts this season. Prior to Tuesday, Odorizzi averaged 18.4 pitches per inning in a combined 68 frames spanning 13 starts.
HE SAID IT
"I'm sure it's exciting for him. He's had to do the work to resurface at this level. He's got an opportunity here for a variety of reasons. He played well this spring and now he has an opportunity to play. He's one of those players who just likes to get dirty and will do whatever he can to help you win." -- Molitor, on LaMarre, who played at Comerica Park for the first time in his career with family and friends in attendance
On the heels of his second career complete game, right-hander Jose Berrios (7-5, 3.66 ERA) takes the mound for the Twins as they continue their three-game series against the division-rival Tigers at 6:10 p.m. CT at Comerica Park on Wednesday. Berrios, who pitched a six-hitter Thursday for his second complete game this season, has logged a career-best five straight starts of six innings or more. He'll start opposite Matthew Boyd (4-4, 3.20 ERA).
James Schmehl is a contributor to MLB.com based in Detroit.