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Eighth Inning Small Ball Helps Tigers Squeak Past Twins

The streaky Detroit Tigers are streaking again.

Brennan Boesch hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to help the Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins for the eighth consecutive time, 8-7. Detroit has now won three straight after losing its previous three games.

Danny Worth led of the inning with a seeing-eye single to right, then advanced to second base on Austin Jackson’s sacrifice bunt. Jackson was also safe at first base after Twins reliever Phil Dumatrait (0-1) wildly threw to second base in an attempt to get Worth. Casper Wells then bunted to advance the runners and set up Boesch’s game-winner.

Al Alburquerque (3-1) pitched a scoreless eighth to pick up the win, striking out two in the process. Joaquin Benoit ran into some trouble in the ninth, but got Michael Cuddyer to ground out to Jhonny Peralta with two runners on to pick up his second save.

Tigers starter Max Scherzer had yet another rough outing, but it didn’t cost his team a win. Scherzer gave up seven runs on nine hits in 6.2 innings of work, failing for the fourth straight time to pick up his seventh win of the year. Still, he managed to rack up seven strikeouts against just one walk.

Detroit led 6-4 heading into the seventh inning, but Scherzer ran into trouble, giving up a lead-off single to No. 8 hitter Rene Rivera and a single to Denard Span. After both runners advanced on Alexi Casilla’s grounder, Rivera scored on Scherzer’s wild pitch that just tipped off the glove of catcher Victor Martinez. Justin Morneau then drove a homer to right field—his second of the night—to take the lead.

Charlie Furbush relieved Scherzer and struck out Jim Thome to end the inning.

Minnesota scored the game’s first three runs, capped by Morneau’s first home run in the third inning. But a huge fifth inning helped erase that rather quickly.

Martinez, Wells and Peralta all hit run scoring doubles off Twins starter Brian Duensing and Boesch drove in two runs thanks to a throwing error by Matt Tolbert, quickly erasing the deficit. Duensing was yanked after Peralta's blast, finishing just 4.2 innings allowing six runs on nine hits.