DETROIT (AP) – Willians Astudillo and Eddie Rosario fueled a four-run seventh inning, and the Minnesota Twins overcame an injury to starter Jake Odorizzi to beat the Detroit Tigers 4-2 Tuesday night and move closer to an AL Central title.
Odorizzi (15-7) pitched two-hit ball through six innings but was pulled with a tight left hamstring after warming up for the seventh. The right-hander hadn’t allowed a hit since Harold Castro’s bunt single in the first and left having struck out six and allowed one run.
The Twins improved to 97-60, their most victories since going 98-64 in 1970. Minnesota’s magic number to clinch the division is two over Cleveland. The Indians played later Tuesday against the White Sox and built a big lead early.
Taylor Rogers pitched a perfect ninth for his 29th save. It was his first appearance since allowing three runs in a loss to Kansas City on Saturday.
Detroit (46-110) reached 110 losses for the second time, 16 years after setting the AL record of 119. With one more loss, the club would be assured the No. 1 pick in next year’s amateur draft.
The Tigers need to win one of their final two home games to avoid tying the 1939 St. Louis Browns’ record of 59 home losses.
Spencer Turnbull (3-16) allowed two runs – both scoring after he left the game – on six hits and two walks in six-plus innings. Turnbull has an 0-11 career record at home – the most losses by any major league pitcher without a home win.
The Tigers scored in the first. Dawel Lugo doubled, took third on Castro’s bunt and scored on Jeimer Candelario’s sacrifice fly.
Odorizzi followed that with five hitless innings, but Turnbull started the game with six scoreless innings of his own.
Minnesota chased Turnbull before he could record an out in the seventh. Jake Cave led off with a single and LaMonte Wade Jr. went the other way to beat the shift for a double.
Astudillo hit David McKay’s third pitch up the middle for a two-run single, ending Turnbull’s chance at a win. Rosario added a two-run double off Nick Ramirez to make it 4-1.
The Tigers put runners on the corners in the seventh, but Kyle Gibson struck out Jake Rogers to end the inning. Dawel Lugo made it 4-2 with an RBI double in the eighth.
Twins: 1B Marwin Gonzalez was a late scratch due to tightness in his right oblique muscle. He was replaced by Astudillo and is listed as day-to-day.
Tigers: DH Miguel Cabrera will have his right knee examined by several specialists after the season in the hopes of finding a solution to the chronic pain that turned him into a full-time DH this season. Cabrera has missed the last three games, but hopes to play Wednesday.
The teams play the second of a three-game series Wednesday evening, with Detroit’s Daniel Norris (3-13, 4.58) scheduled to open against a Twins pitcher to be announced later.