Rookie catcher James McCann will start in Avila’s place as Detroit begins a crucial three-game series against the Royals, who were a half-game back in the AL Central.
The Tigers lost a 6-0 lead, but after Joe Mauer’s second two-run single tied the game for the Twins in the eighth inning, Hunter hit the first pitch of the ninth from Casey Fien into the bullpen behind left-center field.
As he walked off the field after finally ending a rough inning, Pabelbon gave a silent message to critical Phillies fans in a suggestive way, or so the MLB believes.
Avila sent a full-count pitch from reliever Bryan Shaw into the right-field stands for his 11th home run and helped the Tigers retain first place in the AL Central.
The Tigers are neck and neck with Kansas City atop the AL Central, and if they win the division they can thank Martinez, who has 21 home runs.
The Tigers six-run third featured Victor Martinez’s infield RBI single, run-scoring doubles by Don Kelly and Alex Avila, a two-run double by Castellanos and Hunter’s run-scoring single.
The Tigers put it away with three runs in the ninth, as J.D. Martinez hit a sacrifice fly and Alex Avila and Don Kelly added RBI singles.
Cabrera, playing in the second game of Saturday’s day-night doubleheader, pulled up lame after being thrown out at first.
Ryan will start the nightcap of the doubleheader and make his major league debut.
After the Tigers tagged Sale for three runs in the first inning, the White Sox countered with six-straight off of Max Scherzer.