Mauer pinch-hit homer helps Twins to 5-4 win over Tigers

By BRIAN HALL

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Pinch-hitter Joe Mauer hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 5-4 on Friday night.

Eddie Rosario and Tyler Austin added solo home runs for Minnesota, which finally broke through against Detroit starter Matt Boyd to win its fourth straight game.

Kyle Gibson (7-9) allowed three runs and eight hits and struck out five in seven innings for the Twins. Taylor Rogers earned his first major league save by striking out Jeimer Candelario with two runners on in the ninth.

Boyd (7-11) beat Minnesota on Sunday and had not allowed a hit over the previous nine innings until Austin singled to start the fifth on Friday.

Boyd stranded Austin, but the Twins finally broke through an inning later.

Rosario homered to break the scoreless streak against Boyd. Austin started a four-run seventh with his second home run in five games for Minnesota, a towering shot that reached the second deck in left-center field.

Jake Cave singled and Boyd hit Johnny Field with a pitch to end his night. Mauer came on to hit against reliever Louis Coleman and pulled a liner over the scoreboard in right-center field. It was the second pinch-hit homer of Mauer’s career and the first since May 25, 2009, at the Metrodome.

Boyd surrendered four runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings and struck out seven. The Tigers lost their fourth straight game.

Gibson worked his way through troubles with his ability to get ground balls. Detroit had singles in the first three innings only to be erased with a double play. Gibson got four double-play ground balls in the first five innings.