Twins Daily: Brandon Inge takes Glen Perkins deep in walk-off win
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Brandon Inge broke a 2-all tie with a two-out, game-winning homer off left-hander Glen Perkins, lifting the Detroit Tigers to a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday afternoon.
Perkins came into the game as one of the lone bright spots in a season full of lows for the Twins, but his 2-1 pitch to Inge with two outs in the ninth wound up getting blasted into the left field seats for a walk-off homer.
Swarzak came out and retired the first seven batters he faced, but Wilson Betemit put the Tigers on the board with a solo homer in the third inning.
Joe Mauer answered shortly after with a lead-off blast in the fourth inning -- just his third of the season -- to tie the game 1-1.
Victor Martinez's RBI single in the bottom of the fourth put the Tigers back up 2-1, but a sac fly by Danny Valencia in the sixth tied things up once again.
Swarzak completed six innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out a career-high six.
Tigers' starter Max Scherzer went seven, allowing two earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six.
The Twins squandered a chance to take an early lead in the top of the second when -- after having runners on the corners with nobody out -- Joe Benson was picked off at first base. Brian Dinkelman then grounded out, and Luke Hughes flew out to end the frame.
The Twins had kept the Tigers off the scoreboard in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings, and when Perkins retired the first two batters in the ninth, it appeared as if this game was headed to extra innings.
But Ingle put an abrupt end to that notion.
1: Opposite-field home runs for Mauer this season.
202: Plate appearances between home runs for the Twins until Mauer's blast in the fourth inning. Mauer was also the last Twin to homer -- last Sunday against the Angels.
2: Major league hits for Joe Benson, who singled and doubled in Saturday's game.
4-13: The Twins' record against the Tigers this season.
The Twins look to avoid a sweep on Sunday (12:05 p.m., 1500 ESPN) when left-hander Scott Diamond (1-3, 4.56) battles right-hander Doug Fister (4-1, 2.64).
Diamond rejoined the Twins from Rochester on Aug. 26, and he has held his own in three starts, allowing nine earned runs on 21 hits in 17 1/3 innings (4.67 ERA) with 12 strikeouts and six walks. Because of his struggles at Triple-A this season, Diamond is a long-shot to earn a starting rotation job out of spring training next year, but September is an audition regardless.
Fister has made seven starts since coming over to the Tigers from the Mariners in a trade, posting a 2.64 ERA with 36 strikeouts and only three walks in 44 1/3 innings. He faced the Twins back on May 24 and gave up four earend runs on nine hits in 6 2/3.
• Monday: Off day
• Tuesday: @ Kansas City, 7:10 p.m. RHP Liam Hendriks (0-1, 3.86) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (10-7, 4.30)
• Wednesday: @ Kansas City, 3:10 p.m. RHP Kevin Slowey (0-5, 6.07) vs. RHP Jeanmar Gomez (3-2, 3.95)