MINNEAPOLIS -- Another day, another rally against the Detroit Tigers.
After falling behind 4-0 through five innings, the Minnesota Twins rallied again Sunday, twice, to beat the Tigers 12-9 in 10 innings in front of 20,744 at Target Field.
Tyler Duffey (1-2) stranded the extra-inning runner at second, and Jorge Polanco hit a three-run home run off Derek Holland (1-2) with one out in the 10th as the Twins swept Detroit and took a four-game winning streak into the all-star break.
With Robbie Grossman at second, Duffey faced cleanup hitter Miguel Cabrera, a future hall of famer six homers away from the 500 milestone.
“He is who he is,” Duffey said. “You’ve got a base open, the runner’s on second, so you can still go forceout if you have to, but especially with the first guy you’re pretty much going strikeout or bust. You’re trying not to get any contact at that point.”
Duffey got Cabrera swinging on a 3-2 count before falling behind Jeimer Candelario 3-0 and intentionally walking him. He then fanned Eric Haase for the second out, and first baseman Kirilloff fielded a hopper and dove for the bag to retire Harold Castro for the final out.
With Trevor Larnach at second to start the 10th, the Tigers walked Nelson Cruz before Kirilloff popped out to short. That brought Polanco to the plate. With a full count, he took the seventh pitch well into the left-field stands for his first career walk-off home run.
“There was a lot going on today, and it ended in a big moment for Polo and the rest of our team,” manager Rocco Baldelli said.
To win the four-game series, the Twins rallied from deficits of 3-0, 2-0, 4-0 and 4-0. They improved to 6-2 against Detroit and will come out of the break with four at Comerica Park starting Friday.
“We had some opportunities, didn’t get them all in, but stayed at it,” Baldelli said. “This is something seen all week from hitters, go out there and continue to push putting runs on the board.”
Polanco finished 3 for 5 with five RBIs. He, Kiriloff and Max Kepler each drove in two runs as the Twins rallied from a four-run, fifth-inning deficit to take an 8-5 lead into the ninth inning.
But Taylor Rogers, who hadn’t pitched since closing out Thursday’s 5-3 win, loaded the bases and surrendered a grand slam to No. 9 hitter Jake Rogers before getting an out.
Catcher Ben Rortvedt, who replaced injured Ryan Jeffers in the fifth inning, tied the game, 9-9, in the ninth with his second major league home run and set the scene for Duffey and Polanco.
“I was just looking to compete and put the ball in play, just take a good swing and stay in the zone,” Rortvedt said.
Twins starter Jose Berrios weathered a four-run fifth, coming back to retire the side in order in the sixth and seventh and put himself in position to earn eighth win. He retired 13 of the first 15 batters he faced but was charged with four earned runs on three hits and four walks and struck out eight over seven innings.
The Twins will return from the all-star break on Friday with a split double-header at Detroit. The Twins don’t have a starter lined up for the 1:10 p.m. opener, but Kenta Maeda will start the 6:10 p.m. second game. Bailey Ober is scheduled to pitch Saturday, J.A. Happ on Sunday. The Twins will practice Thursday at Target Field. … C Ryan Jeffers left the game after fouling a ball off his left knee with a 3-2 count in the fifth inning. He was officially diagnosed with a left knee contusion. “He seems like he’s doing OK,” Baldelli said. … Triple-A prospect Josh Winder pitched one-third of an inning of the Futures Game on Sunday in Denver. He gave up a home run to Cubs prospect Brennan Davis.