Detroit, MI (WKZO) – If you like high scoring baseball games then the first 2/3rds of Wednesday night’s Tigers/Twins matchup wasn’t for you. The two AL Central rivals failed to score in the first six innings but the Tigers scored four runs seventh and three in the eight en route to a 7-1 victory over the Twins
While the Twins did break the scoreless tie their half of the seventh, the Tigers bats quickly woke up half an inning later. Trailing 1-0 and with two on, Torii Hunter ripped a double to right center field scoring both runners. After an intentional walk to Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder struck out but the ball went under Twins’ catcher Ryan Doumit legs, allowing Hunter to score from second. Victor Martinez followed up with a double off the left field wall for the Tigers final run of the inning.
But the scoring outpour wasn’t done then. With the bases loaded in the next inning, Cabrera hit a bases clearing double increasing the lead to 7-1.
Anibal Sanchez made an impressive start but didn’t factor into the decision, allowing just one run on six hits and two walks while striking out eight over 6 2/3 innings. Drew Smyly picked up the win after relieving Sanchez in the seventh. Smyly retired all three Twins he faced, two on strikeouts. Jose Veras got the final out of the eighth and set down all three twins in the ninth to secure the Tigers 74th win of the year.
Twins starter Kevin Correia was excellent through six but was credited with all four runs – two of them earned -- in the seventh and was removed with two down in the inning. Correia’s record falls to 8-10 as he allowed nine hits and two walks while striking out just one.
Jose Iglesias had two hits and has nine over his last four games.
The Tigers look to take the rubber match on Thursday afternoon as Justin Verlander (12-9, 3.51 ERA) takes the mound for Detroit in the finale. Andrew Albers (2-1, 1.85) will get the start for the Twins. Coverage begins on 590 WKZO at 12:40 with first pitch scheduled for 1:08.
Before Wednesday’s game the Tigers optioned Phil Coke to Triple A-Toledo and recalled Jose Alvarez.