J.A. Happ turned in one of his best outings in weeks and the Minnesota Twins scored three runs in the seventh inning to earn a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night.
Happ started the game for the Twins and ran into trouble in the fourth inning when Eric Haase launched a two-run homer to put Detroit on the board. The Twins flexed their own muscles in the fifth when Ryan Jeffers hit his sixth home run of the season to make it a 2-1 game.
Although the Tigers added to their lead with a bases-loaded walk by Zack Short in the top of the sixth, Happ settled down to turn in a solid night on the mound.
The left-hander allowed three runs over seven innings while striking out eight to keep the Twins in the game and Trevor Larnach chipped into the lead with an infield single in the bottom of the sixth.
That set the stage for Miguel Sanó to crush an opposite-field home run in the seventh to tie the game at 3-3.
The Twins continued to rally in the seventh by getting two men in scoring position before Joel Cisnero threw a wild pitch to allow the Twins to take the lead. After Max Kepler scored the go-ahead run, Jorge Polanco added insurance with a sacrifice fly to make it a 5-3 game.
Tyler Duffey and Taylor Rogers helped finish off the Tigers in the final two innings to help the Twins take the opener of a four-game series.
Minnesota (36-50) will send Kenta Maeda to the mound against Matt Manning in the second game of the series on Friday night.