Inge's RBI triple in 9th lifts Tigers over Twins
MINNEAPOLIS -- Brandon Inge hit an RBI triple off the center field wall in the ninth inning to lift the Detroit Tigers to their fifth win in a row, 9-7 over the slumping Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.
Inge's big hit off Twins closer Matt Capps (1-2) scored Ramon Santiago, and Austin Jackson followed with a squeeze bunt. Jose Valverde got his eighth save.
Jhonny Peralta had a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the eighth inning and Victor Martinez went 3 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs for the Tigers, extending his hitting streak to 11 games for Detroit, which had slugger Miguel Cabrera ejected in the sixth inning.
Jason Kubel had two hits and four RBIs, including a three-run homer in the seventh inning that put the Twins ahead 6-5. But Capps gave up three runs in 1 2-3 innings as the Twins lost their fifth straight.
Joaquin Benoit (1-2) allowed one unearned run in 1 2-3 innings of relief to get the win for the Tigers, who have won eight of nine after a seven-game skid to keep from falling too far behind Cleveland in the AL Central.
Cabrera added a two-run double for the Tigers, but was ejected in the sixth inning after arguing a called third strike from home plate umpire Vic Carapazza.
It was the second time he'd been called out looking in the game, and the slugger gestured up and down with his arm to mimic his perception of the strike zone to earn the immediate ejection. The outburst looked to be costly when Peralta came to the plate in the eighth inning against Capps.
But Peralta sent the second pitch soaring into the left field stands for a 7-6 lead.
The Tigers defense kicked around a sharply hit double by Matt Tolbert in the eighth, with errors by right fielder Brennan Boesch and Santiago at shortstop allowing Ben Revere to score from first and tie the game at 7. But the Twins couldn't get the go-ahead run in from third base with one out.
Starter Scott Baker gave up five runs on six hits with five walks and six strikeouts in 4 1-3 innings for the Twins, who walked 17 batters in the two-game series.
The injury-plagued Twins scored more than five runs for just the third time this season. Justin Morneau had two hits and Kubel's blast was the first three-run homer by the Twins all season.
Martinez's hitting streak includes six doubles, two homers and 14 RBIs. He's batting .500 (20 for 40) during the run.
Tigers starter Phil Coke gave up two runs on five hits in 5 2-3 innings and left with a 5-2 lead.
NOTES: Tigers LHP Daniel Schlereth served up the homer to Kubel and a double to Morneau in the seventh. ... The Twins said LF Delmon Young (oblique) was scheduled to play six innings in extended spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday. DH Jim Thome (oblique) and INF Tsuyoshi Nishioka (broken leg) were scheduled to take batting practice. ... Even Baker's start wasn't enough to get struggling Tigers slugger Magglio Ordonez off the bench. Ordonez, who is hitting .172 this year, did not play despite a .469 career average (23 for 49) against Baker.