Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Alex Avila hit a two-out, RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning, as the Detroit Tigers edged the Minnesota Twins, 6-5, in the opener of a three-game series at Comerica Park.
Victor Martinez clubbed a game-tying, two-run homer in the sixth and Miguel Cabrera added a solo shot for Detroit, which has won five of its last eight games.
Michael Cuddyer drove in a pair of runs for the Twins, who have lost eight of 10.
With the Tigers trailing 5-3, Andy Dirks singled to lead off the sixth. Minnesota starter Nick Blackburn retired the next two batters before Martinez smashed a 2-1 offering to the right-field seats.
After squandering a bases-loaded opportunity with no one out in the next inning, Detroit pushed home a go-ahead run off Alex Burnett (1-4) in the eighth. Jhonny Peralta kept the frame alive with a two-out single and scored when Avila ripped a double down the left-field line.
Jose Valverde succeeded Al Alburquerque (2-1) and tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to record his 13th save in as many opportunities.
The Tigers scored two runs during their first at-bat. A pair of infield outs by Dirks and Brennan Boesch plated Austin Jackson, who led off with a double. Cabrera then followed with his 10th home run of the season, a blast over the wall in left.
Dirks added an RBI double in the third to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
Cuddyer put the visitors on the board with a two-out, run-scoring single in the fourth. Minnesota then surged ahead with a four-spot in the fifth.
Danny Valencia doubled off Detroit starter Brad Penny to begin the frame and scampered home on a single by Rene Rivera. After Denard Span walked and Alexi Casilla reached on a bunt single to load the bases, Jason Kubel tied the game with an RBI base hit. Justin Morneau lofted a sacrifice fly and the Twins grabbed a two-run lead on Cuddyer's second RBI single of the game.
Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 12 games...Detroit notched its seventh straight win over Minnesota...Kubel left after the sixth inning with a sprained left foot...The Twins placed pitcher Francisco Liriano on the 15-day disabled list after the game with left shoulder inflammation. The move is retroactive to May 23.