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Patience a virtue for victorious Twins

Minnesota works six walks off Detroit ace Verlander
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

MINNEAPOLIS -- Through the first 15 games of the season, the Twins have been a patient team, leading the Majors with 73 walks.

That was certainly evident against Tigers ace Justin Verlander on Friday, as they drew six walks against him, including three straight to open the sixth en route to a six-run inning and a 6-3 win that snapped a four-game losing streak at Target Field. The six walks were the second most in Verlander's career and the most since he was a rookie in 2006.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Through the first 15 games of the season, the Twins have been a patient team, leading the Majors with 73 walks.

That was certainly evident against Tigers ace Justin Verlander on Friday, as they drew six walks against him, including three straight to open the sixth en route to a six-run inning and a 6-3 win that snapped a four-game losing streak at Target Field. The six walks were the second most in Verlander's career and the most since he was a rookie in 2006.

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"We had shown pretty good discipline throughout the night despite the zeros," manager Paul Molitor said. "That inning we got the three walks to make him work and get around the 100-pitch count. We tried to wait him out to get opportunities. He hung in there, but we found a way to put up a crooked number, which we haven't had too many of."

Although that patience set up the rally, it was the club's most patient hitter, Robbie Grossman, who made Verlander pay, with a single on a first-pitch cutter that just got past Miguel Cabrera and Ian Kinsler into right field. The ball left the bat at 69.8 mph and had a hit probability of just 12 percent, per Statcast™, but it got the job done.

"I knew that was going to try to get that first pitch over," Grossman said. "From past experience, taking that pitch doesn't do much for you. So I tried to put a good swing on it. It was a pretty good pitch but luckily a found a hole."

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

Grossman's hit knocked Verlander from the game, but Verlander maintained that the walks were more on him than the Twins, because several of his pitches weren't close to the zone.

"I think that falls into what I'm doing," said Verlander, who has a 6.04 ERA. "I was throwing pitches that, even if they wanted to swing, they probably couldn't have."

Verlander's struggles put Tigers rookie right-hander Joe Jimenez in a tough situation, and Jimenez promptly allowed a one-out bloop RBI single to Jorge Polanco before Rosario jumped all over a first-pitch 95.3-mph fastball for a three-run blast that put Minnesota up for good.

"I saw him the first time we played Detroit," Rosario said. "I remembered his fastball goes up. I was waiting for that pitch and he threw it the first pitch. It was a long time since I hit a home run, but when I hit it, it was a good moment."

Video: DET@MIN: Rosario smacks a go-ahead three-run homer

The homer pumped up Minnesota's dugout, and left-hander Hector Santiago, who picked up the win as a result, jumped over the railing to congratulate Rosario at home. Santiago, Rosario and Jimenez were all teammates on Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, and Rosario knew Jimenez was going to try to challenge him with a fastball and drilled it over the left-field fence.

"I think the young factor came into play there [for Jimenez], because you've got a guy up there who loves fastballs," Santiago said. "He'll learn. We'll say thank you to him in our group chat and tell him we appreciate it. We'll definitely talk about that tonight."

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.

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