Hunter, Cabrera Homer In 9th; Tigers Top Twins 8-6
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning to help the Detroit Tigers tighten their grip on the American League Central by winning their fourth straight game, 8-6 over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night.
The Tigers lost a 6-0 lead they built by the fifth, but after Joe Mauer's second two-run single tied the game for the Twins in the eighth inning, Hunter hit the first pitch of the ninth from Casey Fien into the bullpen behind left-center field.
Cabrera then crushed one to the same spot just two pitches later. It was the eighth time this season the Tigers hit consecutive homers.
Kyle Ryan earned the victory by recording the last out of the eighth, and Joakim Soria converted his first save opportunity since being acquired for the Tigers despite allowing a leadoff double to Kurt Suzuki.
Royals keep pace...Nats, Birds win
— The Detroit Tigers continue to lead the American League Central race by 1 ½ games over Kansas City after both teams won on Monday.
Like the Tigers, the Royals staged a ninth-inning rally as Lorenzo Cain hit a game-ending single to complete Kansas City's 4-3 win against the Chicago White Sox. Pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson stole third and continued home for the tying run in the ninth as Jake Petricka threw a wild pitch. Nori Aoki went 4-for-4 and prolonged the winning rally with a two-out double.
Kansas moved into a tie with Oakland for the AL's top wild-card berth, two games ahead of Seattle.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— The Orioles are another win from taking the American League East after Ryan Flaherty hit a two-run homer and Wei-Yin Chen pitched into the sixth inning of a 5-2 verdict over the second-place Blue Jays in Baltimore. Adam Jones had three hits and an RBI for the Orioles, who can wrap up their first division title in 17 years Tuesday versus Toronto.
— The Washington Nationals reduced their magic number to two for capturing the National League East by downing the second-place Braves 4-2 in Atlanta. Stephen Strasburg struck out seven while allowing just five hits in seven scoreless innings. Wilson Ramos hit a solo homer and scored twice in the Nationals' third straight win.
— Matt Kemp drilled a two-run homer and Adrian Gonzalez had three RBIs as the Los Angeles Dodgers ripped Colorado 11-3 to move four games ahead of second-place San Francisco in the NL West. The game was tied 3-3 until Justin Turner's two-run double sparked the Dodgers' eight-run sixth.
— The Giants were 6-2 losers in Arizona as Mark Trumbo hit a grand slam and drove in five runs. Wade Miley helped the Diamondbacks send the Giants to their third straight loss by holding them to a run and seven hits in seven innings.
— The Angels' magic number to win the AL West is down to three after their No. 3 hitters combined for five RBIs in an 8-1 romp over Seattle. Albert Pujols hit a three-run double before leaving the game with a cramp in his hamstring. Tony Campana took over in the three-hole and added a two-run single to help Matt Shoemaker pick up his 16th win.
— Tampa Bay beat the New York Yankees 1-0 on Ben Zobrist's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. The Yankees became the Rays' 21st shutout victim and fell six games behind Oakland and Kansas City for the AL's two wild-card berths.
— Cleveland also dropped six out of an AL wild-card berth as Jose Altuve hit a two-run single and a triple in Houston's 3-1 triumph over the Indians. Collin McHugh gave up an unearned run and five hits over 6 2/3 innings to win his fourth consecutive start.
— Jordany Valdespin and Adeiny Hechavarria hit two-run singles before Jeff Mathis supplied the tiebreaking, RBI single in Miami's 6-5 comeback win over the Mets in New York. Mets starter Jacob DeGrom tied a modern major league record by fanning his first eight hitters and left with a 5-3 lead after striking out a career-high 13 in seven innings.
— Anthony Rizzo returned to Chicago's starting lineup and hit a walkoff homer in the ninth to lift the Cubs over Cincinnati 1-0. Travis Wood held the Reds to three hits in six shutout innings.
— San Diego was a 1-0 winner over Philadelphia behind Andrew Cashner's two-hitter. Rene Rivera scored the game's lone run on third baseman Cody Asche's second-inning error.
Phils closer suspended
NEW YORK (AP) — Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon has received a seven-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his actions during the ninth inning of Sunday's loss to Miami in Philadelphia.
Papelbon made an obscene gesture toward booing fans after allowing four runs in the ninth to blow a save. The gesture caused umpire Joe West to eject him from the game before the two engaged in a heated argument.
Ryu has cortisone shot
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu has received a cortisone injection in his left shoulder and won't throw for at least four days.
The team said that Ryu had an MRI with dye, which showed no changes from his previous MRI that was done in May.
Ryu left his start on Friday after one inning, complaining of tightness and pain in his shoulder. He is 14-7 with a 3.38 ERA this season.
Tanaka says he felt all right after minor league simulated game
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka said through a translator that he felt "all right" after tossing five scoreless innings against minor leaguers in a simulated game on Monday. Tanaka has been sidelined since July 9 with a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. If the Yankees think he is ready, Tanaka could start against Toronto this weekend during the team's final homestand.