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Tigers top Twins to end road trip on high note

MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jose Iglesias homered late to support a solid showing by Matthew Boyd as the Tigers claimed the series finale over the Twins, 9-6, on Sunday at Target Field. The win was Detroit's third series victory over Minnesota in as many meetings, and the Tigers hold a 6-3 record against the Twins.

With the loss, the Twins dropped to third place in the American League Central.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Jose Iglesias homered late to support a solid showing by Matthew Boyd as the Tigers claimed the series finale over the Twins, 9-6, on Sunday at Target Field. The win was Detroit's third series victory over Minnesota in as many meetings, and the Tigers hold a 6-3 record against the Twins.

With the loss, the Twins dropped to third place in the American League Central.

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Boyd was pulled after a leadoff single by Eddie Rosario in the seventh after he held the Twins to three runs. Boyd struck out a career-high eight batters and walked three, while scattering four hits. His lone mistake came on a 2-1 fastball, which Eduardo Escobar clubbed for a game-tying home run in the third. Escobar's blast had an exit velocity of 108.4 mph and marked his hardest hit tracked by Statcast™.

Video: DET@MIN: Escobar clobbers an upper-deck two-run shot

"I'm not a home-run hitter," Escobar said with a smile. "But yeah, I was able to connect well and drive it. I don't think I'll be able to do that again."

Detroit right-hander Shane Greene, who made his American League-leading 48th appearance, relieved Boyd in the seventh and the Twins trimmed the deficit to one on a fielding error by Iglesias. Greene then fanned Brian Dozier and Escobar -- the latter after a 13-pitch at-bat -- with the bases loaded to help preserve the victory. Justin Wilson tallied the final four outs to earn his 12th save.

Video: DET@MIN: Greene strands bases loaded with 13-pitch K

"Greene really just gritted it out and picked up his teammate," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "To me, that was the turning point in the game."

Minnesota lefty Adalberto Mejia was handed the loss after lasting just 4 1/3 innings. Mejia gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits. Iglesias mashed his third homer to break a 2-2 deadlock in the top of the seventh. He and Ian Kinsler later added insurance runs with consecutive singles in the eighth, which proved necessary after a two-run single by Joe Mauer cut Detroit's lead back to one run.

Video: DET@MIN: Kinsler laces an RBI single to pad the lead

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Jose's jack: Iglesias reclaimed the advantage for the Tigers with a monster home run in the seventh. Alex Presley opened the frame with a leadoff single to left to extend his hit streak to 10 games. One batter later, Iglesias crushed a first-pitch sinker from Trevor Hildenberger. According to Statcast™, the ball traveled an estimated 430 feet with an exit velocity of 103 mph. Statcast™ has tracked only one longer homer by Iglesias, which was a 433-foot shot on April 8 against Boston. The homer came one game after Iglesias was thrown out trying to stretch a double in the ninth inning of a loss.

"That's what we do every day; turn the page as quickly as possible," Iglesias said. "Go up there and compete the next day."

Fielding miscues: Minnesota granted Detroit with the early lead on three errors, including two on one play, in the third. Justin Upton (double), Kinsler (single) and Iglesias (single) recorded the only hits in that frame. The Twins were charged with two errors when Upton doubled in the gap to score a run. Iglesias rounded third and Minnesota attempted to nab him at home, but Mejia's throw sailed wide and catcher Chris Gimenez botched a catch afterward to put the Tigers up 2-0. Entering Sunday, Minnesota's 47 errors were the second-fewest in the American League.

Video: DET@MIN: Upton's RBI double leads to a pair of runs

"There were no quick outs today, particularly early," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "I think [Mejia] had to fight to get everyone that he did. We compounded our problems a little bit by not catching the ball, and a snowball fight came into play there at one point, when the ball was flying around the ballpark."

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The series finale lasted 4 hours, 19 minutes, the longest at Target Field and Minnesota's longest nine-inning game in club history. The previous record of 4 hours, 11 minutes was set on July 23, 2016, in Boston.

"It was long, there is no question about that," Ausmus said. "We can play as long as we have to, as long as we come out with a 'W'."

TWINS MAKE MOVES
The Twins traded right-hander Nick Tepesch to the Blue Jays for cash considerations. Tepesch, who was not on the 40-man roster, allowed seven runs (one earned) over 1 1/2 innings in his lone start with the Twins this year. He also had a 5.59 ERA in six appearances with Triple-A Rochester.

Minnesota also designated reliever Craig Breslow for assignment. Breslow logged two outs in the series finale, allowing one hit and walking one. Breslow had a 5.23 ERA in 30 appearances for the Twins, who are expected to announce a corresponding move Monday.

WHAT'S NEXT
Tigers: Right-hander Justin Verlander (5-7, 4.54 ERA) is slated to start the series opener against Kansas City at 7:10 p.m. ET, as the Tigers return home. Verlander held the Royals to two runs over seven innings in his last start. He is 23-10 with a 3.18 ERA in 44 career starts vs. Kansas City.

Twins: The Twins head to Los Angeles for the first time since 2005 to take on the Dodgers in a three-game series that starts Monday at 9:10 p.m. CT. Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon (2-9, 8.19 ERA) is set to make his second start since joining the Twins, and allowed four runs in four-plus innings in his Minnesota debut against the Yankees on Tuesday.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

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.

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis who covered the Tigers on Sunday.