Twins bounce back after surrendering four-run lead
Doumit's three-run shot, Herrmann's pair of RBI doubles lead way
DETROIT -- It's not very often that the Twins have success against Justin Verlander.
So they made sure to make the most of it on Thursday afternoon, as they jumped on him for six runs and ultimately came through with a 7-6 victory thanks to a go-ahead RBI double from Chris Herrmann in the eighth inning after blowing a four-run lead at Comerica Park.
Verlander didn't factor into the decision with the Tigers storming back with a four-run sixth inning, keyed by a three-run homer by Austin Jackson, but it marked the first time they scored six runs against Verlander since June 29, 2007 -- a span of 20 starts.
It also matched a career high for runs allowed by Verlander against the Twins in 26 career outings, and snapped a string of 10 straight victories for Detroit with Verlander on the mound against Minnesota.
"It was another crazy game here," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "With that offense, it can come up quick on you. It looked like we had a pretty comfortable lead here. We had two outs and they had a couple of balls roll through and next thing you know, a three-run homer and it's a tie game again. Fortunately for us, Herrmann came up with a big hit for us."
Herrmann's double dropped in front of Jackson in center field and scored Doug Bernier, who walked and reached second on a groundout by Brian Dozier. It helped spare the Twins from another frustrating defeat, as they blew a late lead in Wednesday night's loss to the Tigers.
"It had some backspin on it and looked like it was heading right for Jackson, but I don't know if the wind took it or something," Herrmann said of his game-winning bloop double. "It ended up falling, so I'm not sure what happened, but I'll take it. I'm just fortunate I got the game-winning RBI."
Verlander gave up six runs on 10 hits and three walks over seven innings.
Minnesota opened the scoring with a run in the first, as Dozier led off with a single and scored on a double by Herrmann.
The Tigers took the lead with two runs off left-hander Andrew Albers in the third, when Bryan Holaday launched his first Major League home run, a solo blast, and Prince Fielder brought home Jackson, who had singled earlier, with an RBI single to left.
The Twins quickly tied it on a two-out RBI single by Wilkin Ramirez in the fourth before Ryan Doumit launched a three-run blast in the fifth inning to give the Twins a 5-2 lead. Minnesota added another run in the sixth with Dozier lacing an RBI double to left to score Bernier from first after a one-out single.
"Today was pretty frustrating," Verlander said. "You had a bunch of bloopers falling in and I was able to battle and make some pitches when I had to and keep it a close ballgame. Then with two outs, Doumit put a pretty good swing on a curveball."
Doumit's three-run blast and Dozier's double gave the Twins a comfortable four-run lead heading into the bottom of the sixth, but it proved to be not enough.
The Tigers rallied for four runs in the sixth, with Omar Infante keeping the inning alive with a two-out single off Albers. Jose Iglesias followed with a double before Holaday reached on an RBI infield single, a hard-hit ground ball that Bernier couldn't handle at shortstop.
The Twins opted to bring in right-hander Josh Roenicke to face Jackson, but the move backfired, as Roenicke served up a game-tying three-run blast on an 0-1 curveball.
"It would've been nice to get through the sixth inning," said Albers, who surrendered five runs on nine hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings. "I have to find a way after getting those two quick outs. We had a couple bang-bang plays, but I have to find a way, because it puts Josh in a tough situation with runners on first and third. But other than that, I was pretty happy with my outing."
The bullpen fared better over the final three innings with Casey Fien, Jared Burton and Glen Perkins combining for three scoreless frames to preserve the series victory over the first-place Tigers. Perkins also picked up his 30th save of the season, getting Victor Martinez to ground into a game-ending double play with two runners on.
"The bullpen came in and did a really nice job at the end getting through a couple innings," Gardenhire said. "So, it was a big win for us, and a big series win for us, which was our goal coming in. So, we'll take it."