"We needed it," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of the blowout. "The bullpen needed it. It's nice to have a game where there's a little bit of a breather. It was a good win, a good series win to take two out of three."
Avila led the charge with a two-run blast in the second after Danny Santana dropped a routine fly ball in left field. Detroit broke out for five runs in the third to put the game away early. Victor Martinez knocked an RBI single before Jim Adduci doubled home two runs in his first game of the year after getting called up with JaCoby Jones going on the disabled list. John Hicks capped the inning's scoring with a two-out, two-run single past Brian Dozier that knocked Gibson from the game.
It was more than enough offense for Fulmer, who went seven innings, surrendering two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts. He gave up a run early on an RBI single from Miguel Sano in the first before settling down. Fulmer later gave up a solo homer to Eddie Rosario in the fifth, and Max Kepler tagged Tigers reliever Anibal Sanchez with a two-run homer in the eighth.
After a three-run homer from Hicks off Ryan Pressly in the ninth, the Twins brought in catcher Chris Gimenez to face Andrew Romine with two outs. Gimenez threw four pitches, ranging from 64-82 mph, getting Romine to fly out to center on a 69-mph pitch classified as a curveball to end the inning. It was the fourth career relief appearance for Gimenez, who has allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings.
"Slow, slow and slower -- it's pretty much the name of my game," Gimenez said. "I just try to locate about 68 to 79 mph and go from there. Let them supply the power."
Martinez, Hicks and Adduci finished with three hits apiece, going a combined 9-for-14 with a homer, a walk and nine RBIs.
"It was not a good ending to a not a very good homestand," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We ran into all sorts of trouble. Kyle is having trouble throwing enough strikes and [is] getting into hitters' counts. When he gets into good counts, they find a way to battle to back. It was tough to watch that, to be honest with you."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Avila says see-ya: The Tigers were helped by a costly error from Santana, who dropped a routine fly ball from Justin Upton to open the second. Just three pitches later, Avila connected on a 2-0 fastball from Gibson and crushed it into right field for his third homer of the year. Avila's homer left the bat at 105.7 mph and went a projected 412 feet, per Statcast™.
"We were trying to switch up the signs to make it harder on them because good veteran clubs do that, and in that instance, I mixed myself up," Gibson said. "I thought [Jason] Castro wanted a fastball in, instead of away where he was set up. As soon as I picked up my leg, I knew I had the wrong pitch."
Adduci to the rescue: Adduci didn't get to the ballpark until about an hour before first pitch, but came through in a big way as part of Detroit's five-run third. He came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs, and ripped a 1-0 fastball for a two-run double. He also scored from second on Hicks' two-run single.
"I guess it kind of took a lot of the nerves or anything away," Adduci said of his travel. "I was just kind of tired and relaxed, and it worked out great." More >
QUOTABLE "I got off the plane and one of my buddies texted me, 'All right, man! I'm gonna be watching today!' And I was like, 'Wait, what?' He said, 'Yeah, you're hitting seventh.' I'm like, 'OK.'" -- Adduci on how he found out he was in the starting lineup
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Adduci's three hits Sunday bring him within six Major League hits of his father, Jim Adduci Sr., who played in 70 games for the Cardinals, Brewers and Phillies from 1983-89. Jim Jr. now has more plate appearances in his big league career. After winning their first two series of the year, the Twins have dropped four straight series, including two to the Tigers.
TWINS STRIKE OUT FOUR IN SIXTH The Twins struck out four batters in an inning for the first time this season, and for the first time since Tyler Duffey fanned four in the seventh inning on May 8, 2016. Michael Tonkin struck out the first three batters, but Nicholas Castellanos' two-out swinging strike got past catcher Jason Castro, whose throw to first sailed into right field, allowing two runs to score. After an RBI double from Martinez, lefty Craig Breslow came in and struck out Avila looking to end the inning.
WHAT'S NEXT Tigers: After an off-day Monday, the Tigers open a 10-game homestand Tuesday with a 7:10 p.m. ET game against the Mariners at Comerica Park. Jordan Zimmermann (1-1, 5.94 ERA) takes the mound looking to rebound from back-to-back outings in which he allowed five runs.
Twins: The Twins head to Texas for a three-game series against the Rangers that starts on Monday at 7:05 p.m. CT. Right-hander Phil Hughes (2-1, 5.40 ERA) starts for Minnesota, and is looking to bounce back after lasting 3 1/3 innings and allowing six runs (four earned) against the Indians last time out.