Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Tigers fail to reach .500


Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Doug Fister is replaced by manager Jim Leyland during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins.


DETROIT -- Trevor Plouffe hit a two-run single during Minnesota's four-run fourth inning, helping the Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 6-4 Monday night.

Minnesota had six singles in all during its big rally as it earned its fourth consecutive win to lift Ron Gardenhire to 900 career victories.

Anthony Swarzak (2-4) picked up the win, allowing a hit and one walk in 2⅔ innings of relief. Alex Burnett allowed only one walk in 1⅓ innings and Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his third save in five chances in place of injured closer Matt Capps.

Detroit was trying to get back to .500 for the first time since May 15.

Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder hit one-out singles in the ninth, but their teammates couldn't bring them home. Delmon Young hit a long fly for the second out and Brennan Boesch struck out to end the game.

Doug Fister (1-6) gave up six runs and eight hits in four-plus innings, leaving the Tigers with a five-run deficit. He faded after a strong start that included striking out the side in the first and holding the Twins without a hit for 3 1-3 innings.

Cabrera hit a two-run double and Young had a sacrifice fly in the fifth to make it 6-4, but that was it for Detroit.

The Tigers had a chance to get closer in the seventh, but Burnett struck out pinch-hitter Boesch on three pitches with two on to end the inning.

The Twins built a cushion with six runs over the fourth and fifth innings. Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit also had RBI singles in the fourth, and Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau each singled in a run in the fifth to make it 6-1.

Minnesota starter Liam Hendriks failed to finish the fifth inning and remains without a win in 12 career starts. He faced four batters in the fifth and gave up a leadoff single, a four-pitch walk, Cabrera's double and bounced a pitch before it reached the plate to walk Fielder and end his outing.

Minnesota matched its season-best winning streak from May 16-19 that included two wins at Detroit. The Tigers had won five of eight to pull within a victory of a .500 record for the eighth time.

NOTES: The Twins are 13-13 within the AL Central and are 11 games under .500 outside of the division. ... Burnett has not allowed a run in his last 14 games. ... Cabrera had three hits and three RBIs. ... The Twins hope Capps, on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, can start a rehab assignment during next week's All-Star break.

Fielder in HR Derby

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano has asked Jose Bautista, Prince Fielder and Mark Trumbo to join him on the AL side for the All-Star home run derby.

Cano announced the invitations Monday, a day after rosters were announced for the All-Star game July 10 in Kansas City.

Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp said Sunday he invited Carlos Beltran, Carlos Gonzalez and Giancarlo Stanton to join him on the NL side. Kemp is on the disabled list because of a strained left hamstring. He is unlikely to play in the game, but is the NL captain for the derby and wants to take part.

Kipnis quiet about snub

CLEVELAND -- Jason Kipnis didn't want to talk about not making the All-Star team. He made a fashion statement instead.

Cleveland's second baseman wore a light blue "I Play For The American League" T-shirt in the clubhouse before Monday's game, a sarcastic, sartorial protest after being left off the AL roster for next week's game in Kansas City. Kipnis finished behind Robinson Cano in the fan voting and was beaten out by Ian Kinsler in player balloting.

Kipnis has had a first half worth of selection.

He entered Monday's game against Los Angeles batting .275 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs. He's also got three triples, 20 steals, scored 47 runs and the 25-year-old has played exceptional defense in his first full major league season.

Indians manager Manny Acta said he wasn't "completely surprised" by Kipnis' snub.

"You can only have so many guys and the American League has some outstanding second basemen, but you usually just go by numbers and he [Kipnis] has the numbers to be in the All-Star game. Cano and Kinsler also have the numbers to be in the All-Star game and [Dustin] Pedroia. A lot of things have to do with the voting as we know."

Kipnis declined comment when asked about the All-Star game.

Acta understands someone will always be left out, and that there are plenty of deserving players who won't try to help the AL win home-field advantage in the World Series. He's just sorry it had to be his second baseman.

"He's not the only one," Acta said. "It's easy for us to be biased because we see him on an everyday basis and we want him to be in there bad.

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