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Twins break tie in eighth to back stellar Berrios

Righty allows two runs in eight innings to take series opener vs. Tigers
MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jose Berrios left the Detroit Tigers searching for answers Monday night. At least, every Detroit batter besides Nicholas Castellanos.

Berrios struck out nine and held the Tigers to two runs over eight innings as he helped the Twins to a 4-2 win in his second consecutive strong outing. He limited Detroit hitters not named Castellanos to one hit, but the 26-year-old Tigers right fielder punished Berrios on two first-pitch fastballs -- one in the first inning that resulted in a solo homer, and another in the third that Castellanos tagged for an RBI single.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Jose Berrios left the Detroit Tigers searching for answers Monday night. At least, every Detroit batter besides Nicholas Castellanos.

Berrios struck out nine and held the Tigers to two runs over eight innings as he helped the Twins to a 4-2 win in his second consecutive strong outing. He limited Detroit hitters not named Castellanos to one hit, but the 26-year-old Tigers right fielder punished Berrios on two first-pitch fastballs -- one in the first inning that resulted in a solo homer, and another in the third that Castellanos tagged for an RBI single.

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Video: DET@MIN: Berrios strikes out Martinez in the 6th

But Berrios rarely encountered trouble for the rest of the night. He allowed just two walks, and produced 17 swinging strikes, including seven with his curveball. The 23-year-old righty is the only Minnesota pitcher to go at least seven innings this year, and Monday marked the fifth time this season he has done so.

"There were some things that were a large pick-me-up for our team in the fact he was able to extend through eight innings," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "The only blemishes really were that he got ambushed twice by an ambusher on two first-pitch fastballs. Other than that he was pretty much in command. He had a couple small hiccups with control, but it was a good effort."

On Berrios' final pitch of the night, Leonys Martin hit a shallow fly ball into center that Ehire Adrianza ran back on and made a flashy over-the-shoulder catch to end the eighth.

Video: DET@MIN: Adrianza sprints for a great running catch

"Amazing. That's always going to win a lot of games in this division," Berrios said. "Everybody's playing together. We're a team. We're sticking together, and I'm glad my guys support me."

The Twins rewarded Berrios' efforts in the bottom of the eighth when Eduardo Escobar drew a one-out walk and Eddie Rosario followed with a double to center. After the Tigers intentionally walked Mitch Garver to load the bases, Logan Morrison drew a four-pitch walk against Tigers reliever Daniel Stumpf to score the go-ahead run.

Fernando Rodney came on to record his 10th save. The final batter of the game, John Hicks, crushed a fly ball deep to left, but Rosario made a spectacular leaping catch while crashing into the left-field wall to lock down the win.

Video: DET@MIN: Rosario covers 77 feet for game-ending catch

"That's our Puerto Rican style right there for you," Berrios said of Rosario. "We played in the WBC together the last two times, and that's the way he plays. He's an aggressive player, but he still supports me, so that's good."

The Twins struggled to get going offensively the first two times through the order against Detroit left-hander Blaine Hardy. But Robbie Grossman sparked the Minnesota offense with a leadoff single to left in the bottom of the fifth. Two batters later, Brian Dozier blooped a hustle-double into left field, and Max Kepler followed by banging a two-run double off the top of the right-field wall to tie the score at 2.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rosario's daring dash: Minnesota padded its lead in the bottom of the eighth when Grossman lifted a towering fly ball to shallow center that Martin camped under for an easy out. Rosario tagged up at third and decided to test Martin's arm, and scored easily when his throw sailed to the backstop.

Video: DET@MIN: Grossman plates Rosario on a sacrifice fly

"I've done it before on this play," Rosario said. "Every time, the short fly, people are thinking the guy at third base is not running. So I put on a little fake, like I was walking a little bit, and after that, I ran hard."

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
In the bottom of the fifth, Escobar roped a line drive to left field with Kepler on second. Kepler was waved home by Twins third-base coach Gene Glynn and narrowly beat the throw from JaCoby Jones and appeared to slide under the tag of Tigers catcher James McCann. Kepler was ruled safe by home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg. But after the Tigers challenged and the play was reviewed, Kepler was ruled out to end the inning.

Video: DET@MIN: Jones gets Kepler at home after review

UP NEXT
The Twins will continue their three-game series with the Tigers at 7:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Lance Lynn (1-4, 7.47 ERA) will get the nod for Minnesota and hopes to deliver a strong outing after what has been a rocky start to the year. Detroit will send lefty Matthew Boyd (2-3, 3.19 ERA) to the mound.

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minnesota.

Minnesota Twins, Jose Berrios