Detroit Tigers rally for victory over Minnesota Twins, 5-2
By DAVE HOGG
DETROIT — Ron Gardenhire didn’t mind getting a beer shower from his players Wednesday night.
He just didn’t know why it was happening.
“They ambushed me, and they really got me,” he said after his Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 5-2. “I wasn’t expecting it, and now I’m dripping all over the place.”
While Gardenhire didn’t realize he had just won his 1,100th game as a manager, someone — he suspects bench coach Steve Liddle — tipped off James McCann. McCann rounded up his teammates and raided the cooler.
“We soaked him,” Tigers third baseman Nicholas Castellanos said. “He didn’t know what hit him.”
The milestone had a little extra meaning for Gardenhire because it came against the Twins, the team he managed from 2002-14.
“I have this big D on my chest now, and it was the Tigers who won this one, but an awful lot of them came with the team on the other side of the diamond tonight,” he said.
For most of the night, it appeared the Tigers weren’t going to get the win. Playing for the first time since Miguel Cabrera’s season-ending biceps injury, they stranded eight batters in the first seven innings and trailed 2-1.
The Twins then failed to add an insurance run in the eighth, stranding Eduardo Escobar after a one-out triple, and it came back to haunt them.
With one out in the bottom of the inning, John Hicks, Niko Goodrum and Grayson Greiner hit consecutive singles off Addison Reed (1-5) to tie the game. Jose Iglesias popped out, but Victor Reyes grounded an RBI single to left.
“I had everyone where I wanted them — 0-1 or 0-2 — but I wasn’t finishing the job,” Reed said. “Jose (Berrios) threw a hell of a game, and I let him down. That’s the worst part of this.”
Reyes, a Rule 5 pick, started the night hitting .196 with four RBIs in 30 games. Used mainly as a pinch runner, he has only accumulated 50 plate appearances.
“We were going to be thrilled no matter who got the hit, but everyone feels great for Victor,” Hicks said. “He’s in a really tough situation because he doesn’t get many at-bats, but he never complains and works harder than anyone. There are nights where he’s getting swings in during the game.”
Leonys Martin followed with an RBI single and Reyes scored on right fielder Robbie Grossman’s throwing error to make it 5-2.
“I didn’t contribute anything and Miggy can’t help us right now, but we still won the game,” Castellanos said. “That’s how you can tell this team is good. Every guy in this room is picking up the slack.”
Joe Jimenez (3-0) got the win with a scoreless eighth. Shane Greene, Detroit’s fifth pitcher, threw a perfect ninth for his 16th save.