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Rodriguez slam, VerHagen lead Tigers over Twins 9-6

By BRIAN HALL

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Ronny Rodriguez had three hits, including a grand slam, and Drew VerHagen struck out 11 in a career-high six innings as the Detroit Tigers beat the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins 9-6 on Friday night.

Rodriguez’s first career grand slam capped a five-run sixth inning off All-Star Jose Berrios. The drive helped the Tigers, with the worst record in the league, cut Minnesota’s lead to 2 1/2 games over Cleveland.

Miguel Sano and Jake Cave each homered twice for Minnesota, which has recently lost three of four at Target Field to distant division opponents Chicago and Detroit.

Berrios (10-7) allowed five runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. It’s the second-most hits he’s allowed in a game this season and he’s given up at least five earned runs in two of his past four starts after having one such game in the first four months.

In four August starts, Berrios has an 8.43 ERA and the Twins have lost three of the games.

VerHagen (4-2) got another chance in the Tigers’ beleaguered rotation and had the best outing of his career. He allowed three runs in six innings — his previous high for strikeouts was five against the White Sox on Aug. 6.