The Twins spoiled the Tigers' attempt to clinch the American League Central title by handing Detroit a 12-3 loss Saturday night at Comerica Park.
Ricky Nolasco pitched six strong innings and the Twins scored six runs in the fifth inning en route to their second straight blowout of the Tigers. Eduardo Escobar had a huge night with a homer, four hits and a career-high six RBIs,, according to MLB.com.
The Tigers are leading the AL Central by a game over the Royals -- who lost Saturday night to the White Sox -- and would have clinched the division title with a win over the Twins, according to the Associated Press. They'll have one more chance to do so Sunday afternoon in the final game of the season. If the Tigers lose and the Royals win on Sunday, the two teams would play a tiebreaker on Monday, MLB.com notes.
Twins batters were quiet early against Tigers left-hander Kyle Lobstein until the fifth inning, according to MLB.com. After the Twins loaded the bases with one out, Brian Dozier brought home Minnesota's first run with a single to right field. Joe Mauer then brought in a run on a ground out to second. Kennys Vargas was intentionally walked and Eric Fryer singled to right field to bring in two runs. Then Oswaldo Arcia and Escobar each singled to bring in a run apiece.
The Twins scored two more runs in the seventh, with Escobar and Herrmann both picking up RBI singles, and another four runs in the eighth. Dozier hit a solo homer, his team-leading 22nd of the year, and Escobar got his fourth hit of the night which brought in three.
The Twins' second straight win over the Tigers gave them 70 victories for the first time since 2010, when they won 94, according to MLB.com.
Minnesota also improved to 10-8 against Detroit this year. The Twins have scored 119 runs against the Tigers, which is just two short of the franchise record of 121 runs scored against Detroit in 2001.
Nolasco was able to end his season on a high note, as he gave up just two runs on five hits and two walks, striking out six. Nolasco, who joined the Twins on a four-year, $49 million deal before the season, finishes the year 6-12 with a 5.38 ERA.
The Tigers will send David Price (3-4) to the mound Sunday afternoon against Kyle Gibson (13-11) for Minnesota.