By LARRY LAGE/AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) – Torii Hunter hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning and scored from second base on a passed ball to help the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 7-1 on Wednesday night.
Drew Smyly (5-0) struck out two in a perfect inning in relief of Anibal Sanchez.
Jose Veras entered with two outs in the eighth inning and closed the game for his first save with the Tigers.
Kevin Correia (8-10) allowed four runs – two earned – and nine hits over 6 2-3 innings.
The Twins let Detroit score four runs with two outs in the seventh.
Right fielder Chris Hermann failed to get to Hunter’s drive between him and center fielder Clete Thomas, allowing Austin Jackson to score easily from first.
After Miguel Cabrera was walked intentionally, Prince Fielder struck out, but backup catcher Ryan Doumit allowed the ball to get past him and Correia didn’t cover home plate. That mistake gave Hunter a clear path to score.
Victor Martinez followed with an RBI double to put Detroit up 4-1.
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier bobbled a grounder in the eighth, the team’s first error in six games, and the miscue loaded the bases for Cabrera, who cleared them with his 25th double that gave him 123 RBIs.
The Tigers pinch-ran for Cabrera, who has been playing through injuries.
After six scoreless innings, Dozier hit a two-out single in the seventh to give Minnesota the lead – briefly.
Pedro Florimon drew a walk on a full-count pitch in the seventh. He stole second, the 15th straight stolen base against the Tigers, who were relegated to using their third-best catcher, Bryan Holaday, who was filling in for injured backup Brayan Pena and starter Alex Avila who is on the concussion disabled list.
The Tigers gave up a 16th straight stolen base later in the inning, extending the longest active streak in the major leagues, according to STATS LLC.
Minnesota was without All-Star catcher Joe Mauer for the second straight day because he is on the seven-day concussion DL.
Both teams had five hits through four innings and combined to leave 10 runners on base. Minnesota’s Justin Morneau had two of his team’s first four hits, including a double in the third, a day after having a season-high four hits.
Sanchez gave up one run and six hits over 6 2-3 innings.
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