MINNEAPOLIS – Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez proved to be double trouble for Minnesota Twins right-handed pitcher Ervin Santana.
Martinez twice homered on full counts to rightfield tonight. Each of the home runs was estimated to travel over 400 feet.
Santana didn’t make it out of the fourth inning and the Tigers went on to beat the Twins, 6-3, at Target Field. The Tigers improved to 5-2 against the Twins this season and 23-8 over the last 31 games in the series.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera left the game in the fifth inning with a right clavicle contusion. He was injured trying to field a sharp ground ball struck by Robbie Grossman in the fourth inning. X-rays were negative and the Tigers deemed Cabrera’s status as day-to-day.
Santana allowed five runs on seven hits over 3 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out three.
Martinez gave the Tigers the lead with a solo home run in the second inning.
Justin Upton hit a two-out double to right in the third to make it 2-0.
After a double by Nick Castellanos, Martinez hit his second home run of the night and eighth of the season. It was the 11th time he’s hit multiple home runs in a game.
Mikie Mahtook followed with a triple and scored on a wild pitch to give the Tigers a 5-0 lead.
Alex Avila added a sacrifice fly to bring home Iglesias in the top of the ninth.
Right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez allowed three runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings for the Tigers. He walked three and stuck out five. All of the runs allowed came in the fourth inning.
Zack Granite scored on single to center by Miguel Sano. Sanchez gave up a two-out walk to Eddie Rosario to load the bases. Ehire Adrianza followed with a single to right. Sano also came around to score.
Cabrera stayed in to play first the rest of the fourth inning after being hit by the grounder from Grossman. But Andrew Romine pinch-hit for Cabrera in the next inning.
Castellanos finished 2-for-4 with a run scored, Mahtook was 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored and Jose Iglesias went 2-for-3 with a RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base.
Daniel Stumpf, Shane Greene, Bruce Rondon and Justin Wilson combined for 3 1/3 scoreless inning of relief. Greene allowed one hit. Rondon stuck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth.
Wilson gave up one walk and had one strike out. o play first the rest of the fourth inning after being hit by the grounder from Grossman. But Andrew Romine pinch-hit for Cabrera in the next inning.