By Dave Hogg
DETROIT (AP) — Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario homered and drove in three runs each as the Minnesota Twins extended their winning streak to six games with a 9-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
Mikie Mahtook homered for Detroit, which has lost six of seven.
Twins starter Kyle Gibson allowed three runs, five hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings, departing one out before he was eligible for the win.
Anibal Sanchez (3-3) took the loss, allowing five runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out six without walking a batter.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first on Mahtook’s second homer in as many days. It was his eighth homer of the year – one short of his career high – and 20th of his career.
Minnesota got on the board in the fourth. With one out, Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano singled and Rosario followed with a homer into the Tigers’ bullpen – his 15th of the season.
Twins centerfielder Byron Buxton received applause from the Detroit crowd after a spectacular catch of Miguel Cabrera’s 410-foot line drive. Buxton, running with his back to the plate on a ball measured at 109 mph off the bat, adjusted his route and made a diving catch on the warning track.
Kepler made it 5-1 in the fifth, lining a 2-2 sinker into the right-field stands for his 14th homer.
Jose Iglesias hit an RBI double in the middle of the inning, then scored on Justin Upton’s single to pull the Tigers within 5-3. Ryan Pressly (2-2) replaced Gibson and retired Cabrera to end the inning with runners on the corners.
Brian Dozier’s RBI triple made it 6-3 in the seventh, and he scored on Kepler’s base hit. Upton’s RBI single pulled the Tigers within 7-4 in the bottom of the inning, but Cabrera grounded out to end the inning.
The Tigers had two on and one out in the eighth, but Kepler made a leaping catch of John Hicks’ line drive to right, then threw out Nicholas Castellanos trying to advance to third.
Minnesota put the game away with two runs off Chad Bell in the ninth.
Twins: LHP Glen Perkins (shoulder) made his first rehab appearance for Double-A Chattanooga on Thursday. He is scheduled to pitch again on Sunday and Monday, and could be activated as soon as next week.
Tigers: RHP Michael Fulmer (finger numbness) threw a short bullpen session without trouble before the game. If he has no ill effects, he could return to the Tigers’ rotation as soon as Monday in Texas.
Twins: Jose Berrios (10-5, 3.86) will pitch the second game of the series for Minnesota on Saturday night. Berrios has struggled against the Tigers in two career starts, going 0-1 with a 19.06 ERA.
Tigers: Jordan Zimmermann (7-9, 5.27) pitches for the Tigers on Saturday night. Zimmermann has pitched at least seven innings in his last three starts, but has lost to Minnesota twice this season.
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