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Max Kepler’s grand slam helps Twins edge Tigers

Sportsnaut
May 23, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins right fielder Max Kepler (26) hits grand slam during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Max Kepler hit a grand slam in the first inning and scored the winning run in the ninth as the host Minnesota Twins extended their winning streak to five games by edging the Detroit Tigers 5-4 on Monday.

Gio Urshela’s one-out infield single against Andrew Chafin (0-1) brought home Kepler, who walked and moved to third on Kyle Garlick’s single.

Luis Arraez reached base four times and scored a run, while Emilio Pagan (1-1) struck out four in two innings of relief while collecting the victory.

Twins starter Chris Archer gave up one run on three hits and struck out four in four innings.

Jonathan Schoop homered, doubled and scored two runs for Detroit. Miguel Cabrera added two hits and drove in a run.

Elvin Rodriguez, making his first major-league start after being recalled from Triple-A Toledo, gave up Kepler’s grand slam and then tossed four scoreless innings.

The Tigers had runners in scoring position with two out in the first. Archer retired Harold Castro on a fly ball to snuff out that threat.

Kepler then gave his team a comfortable lead in the bottom of the inning. Rodriguez got into trouble by walking Arraez with one out. Carlos Correa singled and Jorge Polanco reached on an infield hit to load the bases. Kepler then crushed a 2-0 changeup over the right field wall for a 4-0 Minnesota lead.

The Tigers got one of those runs back in the second. Willi Castro walked and advanced to third on Spencer Torkelson’s single. One out later, Daz Cameron hit into a fielder’s choice as Castro scored.

Detroit stranded a couple more runners in the fourth. Schoop cut Minnesota’s advantage to 4-2 in the fifth when he crushed a hanging breaking ball from Griffin Jax over the left-field wall.

The Tigers pulled within one run in the sixth when Torkelson doubled with two out and scored on Eric Haase’s single to left.

Detroit tied the score in the seventh against Joe Smith. Schoop smacked a double and scored on Cabrera’s single.

–Field Level Media