DETROIT (AP) — Eduardo Rodriguez pitched seven solid innings, and the Detroit Tigers stopped Minnesota’s five-game winning streak with a 6-0 victory over the Twins on Tuesday night.
Rodriguez (8-5) allowed four hits — all singles — struck out five and walked three.
“The impressive thing is that he did all of that without his best pitch,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “He couldn’t find his cutter, so it was fastball and changeup.”
The veteran left-hander, who was nearly traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the deadline, improved to 4-1 with a 3.63 ERA in his last seven starts.
“He’s a very high-quality pitcher — it isn’t an accident how often he goes deep into games,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “There aren’t a lot of pitchers who can just go up there and fire fastballs and gets swings that aren’t on the ball. That’s what he does.”
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera went 2 for 4 and scored a run. He has 3,142 hits, passing Tony Gwynn and moving into a tie with Robin Yount for 19th place on the career list.
“I don’t think people should lose sight of what Miggy is doing,” Hinch said. “We’ve almost got numb to it, because he has done so many things and passed so many people, but he’s now in the top 20 players that have ever played this game.”
Twins ace Sonny Gray (5-5) struck out 10 in six innings. He was charged with three runs — two earned — and seven hits.
Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the first when second baseman Jorge Polanco threw away Cabrera’s grounder, allowing Riley Greene to score from second.
The AL Central-leading Twins nearly tied the game in the third, but a leaping Javier Báez snagged Jordan Luplow’s drive to end the inning with runners on the corners.
Detroit had a chance to break the game open in the fourth, getting four hits to start the inning, but settled for two runs.
Cabrera led off with a single and took third on Kerry Carpenter’s double. Báez and Zach McKinstry followed with RBI singles, making it 3-0 and leaving runners on the corners with no one out.
But McKinstry was thrown out trying to steal second, Nick Maton struck out and Jake Rogers grounded out to second.
Rogers homered in the seventh, and Zack Short hit a two-run single in the eighth.
Both Báez and right-hander Jason Foley are expected to miss time on bereavement leave after deaths in their families. Foley will miss the rest of the Twins series and be replaced by right-hander Trey Wingenter, while Báez’s departure schedule is still undecided.
Twins: 1B Donovan Solano left in the third with a right leg injury. He got hurt sliding back into first base. Baldelli said he was having tests on his ankle and knee, but the team was hopeful it would be a short-term injury.
The Tigers had a moment of silence to honor longtime player and broadcaster Jim Price, who passed away earlier in the day. Price, 81, joined the team in 1967 and served as the backup catcher when Detroit won the 1968 World Series. He began his broadcast career on ESPN in 1979 and worked for the Tigers on TV and radio for the past 30 years.
Price, who had battled cancer since 2008, called Detroit’s combined no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 8 and did his final broadcast the next day.
The teams play the third of a four-game series on Wednesday night. RHP Bailey Ober (6-5, 3.21 ERA) is scheduled to face Detroit RHP Alex Faedo (2-4, 5.80 ERA).