MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins are in position to win another series against an opponent that has typically made itself feel at home at Minnesota’s Target Field.
The Twins pulled out a series win last week against the New York Yankees, who hadn’t lost a series in Minnesota since 2008. Now the Twins are hoping to close out another series, and their homestand, by holding off the Detroit Tigers.
Minnesota led 6-0 on Saturday before Detroit scored five runs, but the Twins held on for a 6-5 lead to split the first two games of their weekend series.
Before Saturday’s win, the Tigers had won 14 of their previous 15 games at Target Field.
“It’s amazing how it feels different when you go out there in the ninth leading 6-5 and you’ve given up the last five, as opposed to just a normal game when you’re ahead 6-5,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. “You can feel it. That’s where your closer steps up and takes care of business.”
All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler got four outs to save Saturday night’s game. It was Minnesota’s third win in eight games against Detroit this season.
The Tigers, after trading slugger J.D. Martinez last week, want another series win but might have to get it without slugger Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera sustained a right clavicle contusion in Friday’s game after taking a ground ball off his chest.
He was held out Saturday as manager Brad Ausmus said he was still sore.
Asked if Cabrera would play Sunday, Ausmus said his status is “to be determined.”
“We had a chance to win the series in Kansas City and lost the last two and split with them,” Ausmus said. “We got a chance to win this series. We got to win tomorrow and it will be a winning road trip.”
The Tigers came out of the All-Star break with a series win against the Toronto Blue Jays and are 5-4 since the break.
“You want to win the series each place you go,” Detroit outfielder Alex Presley said after getting three hits in Saturday’s game. “They’re very familiar foes, so I knew it would be a battle and that’s exactly what it’s been.”
Minnesota will have rookie left-hander Adalberto Mejia (4-4, 4.22 ERA) try and close out the series on Sunday. Detroit will start left-hander Matthew Boyd (3-5, 5.58).
Mejia gave up three runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Tigers in his third start of the season on April 22. It’s his only career start against Detroit. Mejia surrendered one run in 5 1/3 innings against New York in his last outing.
“I think his slider was pretty good tonight,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Mejia. “We hit some balls hard with runners in scoring position, didn’t have anything to show for it.”
Boyd beat Kansas City in his last start when he yielded three runs and seven hits in six innings. In his career, he has made seven starts against the Twins and is 4-1 with a 3.38 ERA.