September 1, 2019 / 8:58 PM / 19 days ago

Twins top Tigers, increase AL Central lead

EditorsNote: Adds Pineda’s record in Graf 2; deletes unneeded “a” before Astudillo’s name; other minor edits

Sep 1, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) hits an RBI single against the Detroit Tigers in the second inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Pineda struck out nine over six innings, Nelson Cruz had three hits and drove in two runs, and the visiting Minnesota Twins topped the Detroit Tigers 8-3 on Sunday.

Pineda (11-5), who gave up two runs on five hits, matched his season high for strikeouts while winning his fifth consecutive decision in a game that was delayed 21 minutes by rain. Jake Cave added two hits, scored a run and drove in two more as the Twins won for the seventh time in eight games.

Minnesota increased its American League Central Division lead to 5 1/2 games over Cleveland, which lost to Tampa Bay.

One day after the Twins hit six homers, increasing their season total to 268 and establishing a new major league, single-season record, they failed to go deep but still produced a strong offensive performance.

Detroit starter Spencer Turnbull (3-14) gave up six runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He has lost his last 10 decisions, including his last five starts. Jordy Mercer homered for Detroit, which has lost seven of its last eight games.

The Twins scored five runs in the second after Turnbull retired the first batter. Miguel Sano walked and Luis Arraez smacked a double. Cave knocked them in with a single up the middle.

After a hit batter, Jason Castro brought in Cave with an RBI single. Jorge Polanco and Cruz added two-out, run-scoring hits before Turnbull got the third out.

Detroit scored a run in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back doubles by Dawel Lugo and Brandon Dixon.

Minnesota made it 6-1 in the fifth on Willians Astudillo’s RBI single. The Tigers got that run back in the bottom of the inning. Dixon walked, moved up on a pair of wild pitches and scored on Victor Reyes’ two-out single.

Mercer cut Minnesota’s lead to 6-3 against reliever Sam Dyson in the seventh with his seventh homer of the season.

RBI singles by Cruz and Eddie Rosario off John Schreiber increased the Twins’ lead to 8-3 in the eighth.

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