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(Monday, September 23rd)
Final Score: Minnesota 4, Detroit 3 (11 innings)
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Josmil Pinto plated the game-winning run with a single to right in the 11th inning, as the Minnesota Twins rallied past the Detroit Tigers, 4-3, in the opener of a three-game set at Target Field.
After Anthony Swarzak (3-2) spun a perfect top of the 11th, Brian Dozier, who tied the game with a solo homer in the ninth, led off the home half of the frame with a single before moving to second on a wild pitch.
Pinto then punched a fastball from Luke Putkonen (1-2) through the hole on the right side of the infield, allowing Dozier to race home for the deciding run.
Dozier and Pinto each finished with two hits for the Twins, who snapped a four-game losing streak.
Torii Hunter collected three hits, an RBI and a run scored for Detroit, which could have clinched a playoff berth with a victory.
"It was a tough pill to swallow, but that's the lovely thing about baseball. We come out here tomorrow and we have another day and another crack at a win," Justin Verlander said.
Minnesota failed to manage much in the early going against the Detroit starter Verlander, who struck out 12 over six scoreless innings.
"He looked like his old self," Dozier said.
Hunter staked his starter to a 1-0 lead with an RBI ground-rule double in the fifth before sparking Detroit's two-run seventh with a one-out double.
Miguel Cabrera followed with a single to center to score Hunter and after Prince Fielder singled, Victor Martinez stroked a double into the right-field corner to plate Cabrera for a 3-0 lead.
The Twins finally broke through against Detroit reliever Jose Veras in the eighth, as Clete Thomas worked a one-out walk and scored on Eduardo Escobar's double to center.
Doumit then entered as a pinch-hitter and stroked a double to right to plate Escobar and bring the Twins within 3-2.
Joaquin Benoit replaced Veras on the mound and retired Alex Presley and Chris Herrmann to escape the threat, but Dozier drilled the right-hander's second offering of the ninth over the wall in left-center to tie the game at 3-3.
Verlander recorded his third game of 10-plus strikeouts this season and ran his strikeout total to 207 on the year, marking the fifth straight season the right-hander eclipsed the 200-strikeout plateau ... Martinez extended his hitting streak to 10 games ... Minnesota starter Mike Pelfrey allowed one run on six hits and three walks over six innings ... Minnesota went 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position and left 15 men on base.
09/24 01:35:01 ET
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