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Tigers' 4-run 8th gives Gardy milestone victory

Gardenhire reaches career win No. 1,100 against former club
MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- Ron Gardenhire's office smelled like the aftermath of a playoff celebration rather than a 5-2 Tigers victory over the Twins in mid-June. His shirt smelled even worse.

"They poured beer on me," Gardenhire said. "It's 1,100 wins as a manager. I didn't know anything about it, but they ambushed me with beer. As [Indians manager] Terry Francona said, that just means you're old and you've been managing a long time."

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DETROIT -- Ron Gardenhire's office smelled like the aftermath of a playoff celebration rather than a 5-2 Tigers victory over the Twins in mid-June. His shirt smelled even worse.

"They poured beer on me," Gardenhire said. "It's 1,100 wins as a manager. I didn't know anything about it, but they ambushed me with beer. As [Indians manager] Terry Francona said, that just means you're old and you've been managing a long time."

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It meant more than that to his players. He means more than that to them, which is why they gave their manager a beer shower after win No. 32 as Tigers skipper.

Video: MIN@DET: Gardenhire talks 8th inning, comeback win

It was a fitting win, not simply because it came against the team he managed for 13 years. It was a comeback victory in their first game since Miguel Cabrera's season-ending biceps tendon rupture.

The game-winning rally came in the eighth off Addison Reed, signed by the Twins to a two-year, $16.75 million contract in the offseason. The game-tying hit was an opposite-field squibber by rookie backup catcher Grayson Greiner, hit with a 60.7 mph exit velocity according to Statcast™, but into open space down the first-base line. The go-ahead single came from little-used Rule 5 Draft pick Victor Reyes on an 0-2 pitch.

"Miggy's down, we lost a tough one last night, but the one thing this club has always done, we bounced back," Gardenhire said.

Video: MIN@DET: Greiner smacks game-tying RBI single in 8th

It was a win that typified what the Tigers have been doing this season, well before the emergence of the Rally Goose. To many, it typified the impact Gardenhire has had on this team.

"That's awesome," said John Hicks, whose one-out single began the rally. "That guy's been so important to this team. To celebrate a milestone like that with him is pretty cool."

Gardenhire's coaches, many of whom go back with him to his days managing the Twins, tipped off catcher James McCann, who tipped off the rest of the team and brought Gardenhire into the clubhouse.

"You don't win 1,100 games as a manager by accident," McCann said. "You win 1,100 games because you earn your players' trust and you become a favorite with your players. I guarantee you if you ask every guy in this clubhouse, they're all going to have something good to say about him as a manager, but also as a person. That's how you get to 1,100 wins. It doesn't happen overnight, but the way you do it for a while is by earning trust from your players."

One night after the Tigers missed chances to add onto their early lead and lost it late, they turned the tables. Minnesota starter Jose Berrios carried a lead through six innings, stranding the bases loaded in the fifth inning before escaping the sixth with runners at second and third with nobody out.

"You never know what's going to happen," Gardenhire said, "but the good thing is we kept getting them on."

Detroit's bullpen kept giving its offense chances, holding the deficit at a run through three relievers. After Joe Jimenez (3-0) stranded Eduardo Escobar in the top of the eighth following his one-out triple, the Tigers rallied off Reed (1-5) in the bottom of the inning with three consecutive one-out singles.

Greiner's start was the result of Cabrera's injury -- which forced Hicks back to first base -- and McCann's recent illness. Reyes started in left to give a day off to the slumping JaCoby Jones.

Reyes was 2-for-17 with nine strikeouts on the season after 0-2 counts, but he fouled off a pitch to stay alive for a fastball that caught enough of the outside corner for him to poke past shortstop Ehire Adrianza and into left field for the go-ahead RBI.

"For him, it's a tough spot to be in, not getting consistent at-bats, but he works his tail off," said Hicks, who has been in that situation himself.

Leonys Martin's ensuing single and a Robbie Grossman throwing error plated two insurance runs for Shane Greene's 16th save.

Video: MIN@DET: Martin plates 2 on single to right field

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Jimenez keeps it close: Jimenez kept the game at 2-1 in the top of the eighth by stranding Escobar at third base with one out. He had some help for the second out from shortstop Jose Iglesias, who charged Miguel Sano's comebacker after it deflected off Jimenez and threw out Sano at first. Jimenez then battled Grossman for 10 pitches, the first nine of them fastballs at 96-plus mph, before fanning him on an 88-mph slider.

Video: MIN@DET: Jimenez strikes out Grossman swinging

SOUND SMART
The Tigers' win was their sixth this season when trailing after seven innings. They had four such victories all of last season.

HE SAID IT
"When he hit the double, when he was standing at second, I told him, 'Hey, you want to kill me today?'" -- Berrios, on former Twins teammate and good friend Niko Goodrum, who fell a triple shy of the cycle in a three-hit game. Goodrum is 6-for-17 with three doubles, two home runs and five runs scored against his old club this season.

Video: MIN@DET: Goodrum crushes a solo home run to right

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Reyes picked up a bunt single on a replay challenge in the fifth inning after first-base umpire Rob Drake initially ruled him out. Though second baseman Brian Dozier made a stellar scoop and shovel pass to Logan Morrison, a 2-minute, 24-second review showed Reyes just beat the throw.

Video: MIN@DET: Reyes reaches first safely following review

UP NEXT
Michael Fulmer (2-5, 4.40 ERA) will try for his first win since he beat the Twins last month at Target Field when he takes the mound in Thursday's series finale, a 1:10 p.m. ET start at Comerica Park. Fulmer tossed 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball at the Twins in their previous meeting, and threw seven innings of one-run ball in a no-decision against the Indians in his last start. Lance Lynn (4-4, 5.08) starts for Minnesota.

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

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