DETROIT (AP)—Lew Ford set up the winning run with some hustle on the bases.
A night after helping beat Detroit with a late-inning double, the Minnesota Twins outfielder was at it again. This time, he stretched what looked like a routine single into a 10th-inning double and eventually scored the go-ahead run in a 5-4 victory Tuesday.
“That’s how Lew Ford plays this game,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “That’s how that whole team plays—they just find ways to get the job done.”
The win gave Minnesota a sweep of the two-game series and moved them six games ahead of Detroit in the AL Central.
“That was a very good baseball game,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Both starting pitchers struggled, but our bullpen did a super job again to get us a big win.”
“There was nothing I could do,” Inge said. “I was playing him to pull, and he hit the ball the other way. I could tell he was going from the time he hit the ball, and it was going to be a footrace between us. He won.”
Ford’s teammates were pleased by his effort.
“That was big,” Torii Hunter said. “We really needed that extra base early in the inning. That’s the style we have to play to win games.”
After Justin Morneau and Hunter walked to load the bases, Jacque Jones hit a fly ball to the warning track in left, scoring Ford with the go-ahead run. Jones had hit his 100th career homer earlier in the game.
“Jacque had some huge at-bats for us tonight,” Gardenhire said. “First, the homer and then a big sacrifice fly against a tough closer like Urbina.”
Grant Balfour (4-1) got the win with three shutout innings of relief, and Joe Nathan pitched the 10th for his 26th save in 27 tries. The Twins bullpen, starting with J.C. Romero, combined to allow just three hits in five scoreless innings.
“They just overpowered us,” Trammell said. “That was one of the keys to the game.”
Jones made it 2-1 in the second with a ball that just eluded a leaping White in left field, and Morneau cleared the right-field bullpens with a three-run shot in the third.
Bonderman, who allowed four runs in six innings, has allowed six homers in his last two starts.
“I just made a couple stupid pitches again,” he said. “That’s what killed me.”
Craig Monroe tied the game in the fourth with a two-run homer.
Twins starter Kyle Lohse gave up four runs in five innings in his 100th career start.
“That team swings the bat well, and they take you deep into every count,” he said. “That’s what hurt me tonight.”
Tuesday’s game was the second annual “Bark at the Park” promotion, where 322 dogs and their owners sat in a special section in left field. … Bonderman struck out the side in the fourth on 16 pitches. … C Rob Bowen joined the team from Double-A New Britain to replace C Joe Mauer, who went on the DL Monday with a sore knee. The Twins also activated OF Michael Ryan from the DL and optioned him to Triple-A Rochester. … Balfour threw a pitch in the eighth that the Comerica Park radar gun measured at 101 mph.