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Tensions run high as Tigers top Twins

MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- In a feisty game that saw the benches clear in the fifth inning after Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd threw behind Miguel Sano, Nicholas Castellanos homered in the third and came through with a go-ahead RBI double in the sixth to lead the Tigers to a 5-4 win over the Twins on Saturday at Target Field.

"That's not how you draw it up, for sure," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We needed a win and we got it."

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MINNEAPOLIS -- In a feisty game that saw the benches clear in the fifth inning after Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd threw behind Miguel Sano, Nicholas Castellanos homered in the third and came through with a go-ahead RBI double in the sixth to lead the Tigers to a 5-4 win over the Twins on Saturday at Target Field.

"That's not how you draw it up, for sure," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We needed a win and we got it."

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With the Tigers up by a run in the fifth, Boyd threw a waist-high fastball behind Sano, who took offense and shoved catcher James McCann. Both Sano and Boyd, who allowed two runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings, were ejected. Joe Mauer replaced Sano and promptly doubled and scored the tying run on an RBI single from Robbie Grossman.

Video: DET@MIN: Grossman plates Mauer with a single to right

But the Tigers took the lead with two runs in the sixth, keyed by the double from Castellanos, who later scored on a sacrifice fly from McCann.

Castellanos also hit a solo homer off Twins starter Adalberto Mejia in the third. Justin Upton hit a solo homer off Mejia two batters later, and he singled and scored on an RBI single from John Hicks in the second.

Video: DET@MIN: Upton gives Tigers lead with solo home run

Mejia lasted 2 2/3 innings, surrendering three runs on five hits and three walks with six strikeouts, and he was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after the game. He was backed by a two-run double from Jorge Polanco in the second. Jason Castro made it a one-run game with a pinch-hit solo homer off closer Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth. Polanco also hit a deep drive to right, but it was caught at the warning track.

Video: DET@MIN: Polanco plates two with a double

"A lot of things happened," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It just had a funny feel from the get-go. It was a long game with a lot of dips and turns. We kinda hung in there, but Mejia fought himself today and looked like he was getting frustrated at times. We got back in there with Grossman's hit, but they busted through. We made it interesting in the ninth. I don't how close Polanco's ball got to that overhang, but we came up a little bit short in the end."

Video: DET@MIN: Molitor on Mejia in loss to the Tigers

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Castellanos delivers: After Michael Tonkin walked Mikie Mahtook to open the sixth, the Twins called on veteran lefty Craig Breslow to face Castellanos, who laced a go-ahead RBI double to center. After a groundout from Victor Martinez and an intentional walk to Upton, McCann hit a hard liner into right for a sacrifice fly to give Detroit an insurance run.

Video: DET@MIN: Castellanos rips an RBI double in the 6th

"We won by one run," Castellanos said, "so however you want to draw it up, everything we did, we needed every bit of that."

Tigers relievers hold lead: After Detroit's bullpen struggled in Friday's 6-3 loss, it recovered to pitch well after Boyd was ejected, preserving the two-run lead in the sixth. Lefty Blaine Hardy replaced Boyd and gave up a double to Mauer and a game-tying single to Grossman, but the relievers were solid otherwise. Hardy, Shane Greene, Alex Wilson, Justin Wilson and Rodriguez combined to preserve the lead, despite Rodriguez giving up a homer to Castro in the ninth.

Video: DET@MIN: Hardy strikes out Kepler in the 5th

"It's an unfortunate day, but the guys behind me did a great job," Boyd said. "Our bullpen came in and slammed the door shut. We fought back and got some runs there. That was a good team win."

QUOTABLE
"The pitcher was ejected for intentionally throwing at Sano, in our judgment. Sano was ejected for throwing a punch at McCann." -- Crew chief Mike Everitt

"When we ran on the field, I probably shouldn't have run as hard as I did." -- Hardy, on following Boyd in relief after the benches cleared

REPLAY REVIEW
The Twins won a challenge in the second inning, when home-plate umpire Jordan Baker wrongly awarded Ian Kinsler first base after a ball hit the dirt near his foot. After a review, the call was overturned and Kinsler returned to the plate and popped up to Sano.

Video: DET@MIN: Kinsler HBP overturned with bases loaded

JONES LEAVES WITH INJURY
Tigers rookie center fielder JaCoby Jones left the game in the third inning after being hit in the face on a 90-mph pitch from Rule 5 right-hander Justin Haley. He was replaced by Andrew Romine in center field. Jones had a split lip but his teeth were intact, according to Ausmus, and he underwent a CT scan to check for other structural damage. Detroit placed him on the 10-day DL after the game with a left lip laceration.

WHAT'S NEXT
Tigers: Michael Fulmer (1-1, 3.00 ERA) takes the mound in Sunday's series finale at 2:10 p.m. ET on MLB.TV, looking to beat the Twins for the second time in three starts. He allowed three runs in six innings against Minnesota this past week at Comerica Park.

Twins: Right-hander Kyle Gibson starts the series finale against the Tigers on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. CT on MLB.TV. Gibson (0-2, 6.91 ERA) has struggled to keep the ball in the park, allowing four homers in three starts.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Matthew Boyd, Nicholas Castellanos, Adalberto Mejia, Jorge Polanco, Justin Upton