MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins' offense set a season high in runs scored by the sixth inning, thanks to a three-run first, a five-run second and a seven-run sixth in a 15-8 win over the Tigers on Thursday at Target Field. A few key offensive contributors kept up their recent hot streaks, including a red-hot John Forsythe, who collected a career-high five hits to help Minnesota surpass its previous high of 12 runs against the Blue Jays on July 25.
The top of the lineup set the tone, as Joe Mauer, Forsythe, Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano combined to go 11-for-17 with two homers, three doubles, nine RBIs and 10 runs scored. Forsythe had a career night, going 5-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs to improve his average to .449 (22-for-49) in 14 games with the Twins.
"We had a lot of big offensive nights with Forsythe leading the way," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I hope the guys are paying attention. Four hits to right and one up the middle. Lot of hits over there and then the big home runs from Polanco, [Ehire Adrianza] and Miggy."
The Twins sent 12 batters to the plate to break the game open in the sixth after the Tigers had clawed back from an early six-run deficit to make it a one-run game. Adrianza hit a two-run homer, Sano walked with the bases loaded, Christopher Austin plated a run with a sacrifice fly and Mitch Garver ripped a two-run single. After an error prolonged the inning, Eddie Rosario brought home the inning's seventh run with an RBI single.
In the second inning, Forsythe started the scoring with a two-run ground-rule double down the right-field line to plate Johnny Field and Adrianza, pushing Minnesota's lead to 5-2. Polanco, who hit a three-run home run in the first inning, followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Mauer, and then Sano crushed a two-run opposite-field homer to cap the frame.
"I'm getting more on top of the ball, and let the ball come to me and try to put it in play," Sano said. "So I don't try to do too much, and I try to be patient and relax and clear my mind."
Forsythe has seen his bat heat up since he switched uniforms at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Acquired from the Dodgers on July 31 in the trade for James Dozier, Forsythe has a hit in 12 of the 14 games he has played with Minnesota. During his brief tenure with the Twins, he has eight RBIs and has had a knack for finding timely hits. He was treated to a standing ovation after his fifth hit, with Jake Cave replacing him as a pinch-runner.
"Molitor taking me out after the fifth hit with a little applause. It was a cool moment," Forsythe said. "I don't think it's really set in. I think it will later tonight. But it was a good day."
Sano's clout was his third since rejoining the Twins in late July and second in the past three days. He's hitting .298/.377/.553 in August and has flashed his athleticism both at the plate and at third base since returning from a Minor League assignment that was designed for him to work on his conditioning and rediscover his swing.
The Twins sent eight batters to the plate in the second and compiled an 8-2 lead to chase former Minnesota All-Star Francisco Liriano after 1 2/3 innings. It helped make up for Twins starter Ervin Santana allowing seven runs over four innings in a no-decision.
Santana was hurt by homers, giving up a two-run shot to Nicholas Castellanos in the first and back-to-back clouts in the fourth to Michael Mahtook and James McCann. He left after loading the bases with nobody out in the fifth. Right-hander Trevor May walked in two but got out of the inning to limit the damage. He then threw a scoreless sixth inning.
"I didn't have my good control the whole night, so I had to battle the whole game," Santana said. "I was missing my spots, and that's what happens. If you leave it up and in the middle, that's how it's going to be."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
May's first win since '16: Making his sixth appearance since missing last season because of Tommy John surgery, May threw two scoreless innings, although he allowed two inherited runners to score on the walks in the fifth. May picked up his first win since July 29, 2016, and lowered his ERA to 1.35 on the year.
"Getting a win added next to my name, especially as a reliever, is I think less important than just wins in general," May said. "But it is nice to kind of play a meaningful role in maintaining a lead and allowing us to storm back there in the bottom of the sixth."
Santana and Liriano first faced each other on May 31, 2006, when Santana gave up three runs over seven innings with the Angels and Liriano threw six scoreless innings for the Twins in a win.
"That was a long time ago," Santana said with a smile. "That year, he was nasty. Him and Johan [Santana] -- oh my God. That was a good combination. He was nasty."
HE SAID IT
"He's killing it. He's just on fire right now. He has to just leave it how it is. The good thing is he comes in here every day and works no matter what the situation is going to be." -- Santana, on Forsythe
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Minnesota's five-run second inning was aided by an overturned call, as Field was initially ruled out on a grounder to short for would've been the second out, but after a review, it was ruled that Tigers first baseman Jim Adduci's foot didn't remain on the bag. Field was safe as a result and later scored on Forsythe's double. If the out call stood, Sano wouldn't have come up in the inning to hit a two-run home run.
Right-hander Kyle Gibson (6-9, 3.49 ERA) starts for the Twins in the second game of the four-game series against the Tigers on Friday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Gibson was impressive last time out, limiting Detroit to one run over seven innings in a win. The Tigers will start lefty Matthew Boyd (7-10, 4.20).