MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Matt Wallner hit a grand slam to cap a five-run sixth inning and the Minnesota Twins overshadowed another milestone homer by Miguel Cabrera in a 5-3 win against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
Wallner’s slam — his first in the majors and the ninth homer in 38 games for the rookie — erased the early deficit provided by Cabrera. Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the second for his 509th career home run, equaling former teammate Gary Sheffield for 26th on the all-time list with just his second homer of the season.
“Just felt like I hit it about as good as I could,” Wallner said of the homer that cleared the tall wall in right center field.
Cabrera is two home runs behind Mel Ott for 25th all-time and his 1,867 RBIs are one behind Ott for a tie for 11th in history. Cabrera passed Robin Yount (3,142) for 20th on the all-time hit list against the Twins last week in Detroit.
“A lot of the times, he’s been shooting home runs the opposite way on fastballs from right-handers,” Minnesota starter Bailey Ober said of allowing the homer to Cabrera. “I think that was the first one I’ve seen him really drive. I mean, it obviously looked like it was his prime swing right there, back to 2013, 2014 stuff. One of the best players of all time.”
Dylan Floro (4-5) earned his first win with Minnesota after being acquired from Miami before the trade deadline with a scoreless inning of relief. Jhoan Duran allowed a solo homer to Spencer Torkelson but recorded his 22nd save.
Reliever Will Vest allowed Wallner’s grand slam, one of two hits and two runs surrendered, after coming on in relief of José Cisnero. Cisnero (2-3) relieved starter Alex Faedo and gave up a walk and two hits to the first three batters of the sixth.
“Leadoff walk kickstarted the momentum,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Obviously, nothing really went well that inning until the end we could get out of it.”
After the leadoff walk to Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler hit a foul pop-up that landed between catcher Eric Haase and third baseman Matt Vierling. Given new life, Kepler singled for just the second hit of the game for Minnesota. Faedo held the Twins to one hit through five scoreless innings.
There was a consideration by Hinch to stick with Faedo for another inning. But with a fresh bullpen and Faedo having faced Minnesota last week, Hinch went to Cisnero.
“Love getting Cis in there, who’s pitched leverage the whole season,” Hinch said. “Didn’t work out. Makes you wonder what would have happened if we would have gone the other way. But I love going to our pen. We haven’t had a blowup game like that in a long time.”
Before his final series at Target Field, the Twins presented Cabrera with gifts to honor his coming retirement.
Cabrera was presented with a $5,000 donation to his foundation. The Twins also gave Cabrera a custom fishing pole, tackle box and No. 24-branded fishing hat, as well as a silver, engraved hockey stick.
In 241 games against Minnesota, Cabrera has hit .304 with 47 homers and 169 RBIs. The homers and RBI are the second most for Cabrera against any team, only trailing his totals against Cleveland.
Tigers: Hinch said SS Javier Báez should make his return from the bereavement list sometime during the upcoming four-game series in Cleveland. … RHP Spencer Turnbull (60-day injured list, neck discomfort) was scheduled to make his latest rehab appearance on Tuesday with Triple-A Toledo.
Twins: 3B Royce Lewis was reinstated from the injured list on Tuesday after missing 36 games due to a strained left oblique muscle. Utility man Willi Castro was placed on the injured list with a Grade 1 left oblique strain. … RHP Joe Ryan (left groin strain) threw a bullpen session on Tuesday. The team wants to see how Ryan responds before determining the next step. … OF Byron Buxton (right hamstring strain) is getting back into baseball activities and 1B/OF Alex Kirilloff (right shoulder strain) has started a hitting progression.
RHP Kenta Maeda (3-7, 3.97 ERA) will start for Minnesota in the finale of the two-game series on Wednesday afternoon. Detroit will counter with RHP Reese Olson (2-5, 4.45).