The Twins scored 39 runs in sweeping the four-game set but it was against a Detroit rotation shredded by injury and the trade of Justin Verlander plus a bullpen peopled by inexperienced pitchers clearly not ready for the big show.
With both Texas and the Los Angeles Angels losing again Saturday, the Twins now have a 4½-game lead for the second wild card over those two teams as well as Kansas City.
Alan Busenitz pitched an inning for the Twins while Ryan Pressly got two outs, Taylor Rogers one, and Michael Tonkin worked the eighth and ninth to finish the game. If the Twins can't find a way to win this game, they probably don't deserve to make the postseason.
The Minnesota Twins had a rough start to the road trip but are picking things back up against the fading Detroit Tigers. The Twins are 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Detroit, 4-1 in the last 5 meetings and the over is 9-1-2 in the last 12 meetings. He flinched in pain when he attempted to push off on the leg and hobbled off the field.
Daniel Stumpf (0-1) allowed three runs and three hits without retiring a batter in his first big league decision. A barrage of hits helped to fuel the rally when Eddie Rosario singled to left to score Zack Granite, and Escobar singled to right to score Jorge Polanco.
Eduardo Escobar scored three runs for Minnesota. The especially insane part was that Escobar had the count to his favor 3-1 at one point and was still bunting.
"I'm disappointed in the way the season went", said Detroit manager Brad Ausmus, who won't return next season. Once Escobar (one of the hottest hitters in the American League in the second half) was free to swing away, he delivered the go-ahead hit.
Max Kepler and Jason Castro hit two-run doubles in the eighth to make it 12-1.
Anyway, after Molitor had been managing so hard to gain a one-run lead, his team went ahead and absolutely blew the game wide open and ended the inning with a seven-run advantage. This time he connected on a three-run home run measuring 356 feet to extend the lead to 10-3.
The game will be known for its attrition.
It also will be known for how the Twins waited for Boyd to leave before pouncing, enabling Ervin Santana to improve to 16-8 following seven solid innings. "I felt great", Zimmermann said.
Tigers: 1B Miguel Cabrera will undergo an MRI Sunday after leaving in the second inning with lower back tightness. "The way we have been playing lately, we never give up".