Inge lifts Tigers over Twins 11-10 in 13 innings
DETROIT (AP)—Brandon Inge(notes) singled home the winning run in the 13th inning and the Detroit Tigers beat Minnesota 11-10 on Saturday night, damaging the Twins’ chances of earning home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs.
The AL Central champions fell a game behind Tampa Bay in the race for the best record in the American League. The Rays, with a soft schedule the rest of the way, lead the AL East by 1 1/2 games over the New York Yankees.
Johnny Damon(notes) and Miguel Cabrera(notes) opened the 13th with singles off Pat Neshak (0-1). Jhonny Peralta(notes) followed with a grounder to third that was misplayed by Danny Valencia(notes) for an error, loading the bases.
Randy Flores(notes), the game’s 16th pitcher, replaced Neshak and got Brennan Boesch(notes) to ground into a 1-4-2 putout at the plate. Inge then lined a clean single to right, ending the game after 4 hours, 19 minutes.
In addition to Justin Morneau(notes) (concussion) and Joe Mauer(notes) (knee), Minnesota played without manager Ron Gardenhire in the dugout. Gardenhire was hit in the right ear by a thrown ball during batting practice, and although he was not seriously injured, he spent the game in the clubhouse.
The Twins scored five runs before Bonderman got his second out, but that wasn’t going to be nearly enough on a night dominated by power hitters.
After a scoreless third, the Tigers went up 7-5 with five runs in the fourth, including three homers. Avila started the run with a solo shot, followed by two-run drives from Don Kelly(notes) and Cabrera.
Minnesota quickly tied the game. Kubel and Valencia opened the fifth with homers, chasing Bonderman from what could have been his last home start with the Tigers.
Glen Perkins(notes) replaced Pavano for the fifth and became the fourth straight pitcher to struggle. He got only two outs before being pulled after allowing sacrifice flies to Jackson and Ryan Raburn(notes).
Raburn’s RBI single tied it at 10 in the seventh.
NOTES: Jason Repko(notes) left the game after being hit in the right thumb by a pitch from Bonine. X-rays were negative and Repko is day to day. … Inge struck out three times, giving him 1,101 in his career, breaking Lou Whitaker’s franchise record of 1,099. Inge, a free agent after the season, has played more than 1,000 fewer games than Whitaker. … Both benches were warned after Perkins hit Inge with a pitch to start the fifth inning—the third hit batter of the game.