Zack Granite hit his first major league home run, a three-run drive that capped an eight-run eighth inning for the Minnesota Twins in a 10-4 win over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.
Minnesota overcame a 3-1 seventh-inning deficit and won its third straight following a three-game sweep at the New York Yankees. The Twins began the night 3½ games ahead of Texas for the second AL wild card.
Ervin Santana (16-8) allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings, improve to 5-1 in his last 11 starts. He is one shy of his career high for wins, set in 2010.
Detroit pitcher Alex Wilson broke a leg in the eighth inning when hit by Joe Mauer's line drive.
Brian Dozier led off the game with a Little League home run, bunting to Jeimer Candelario and circling the bases when the third baseman's throw went into right field for a three-base error.
Detroit, which announced Friday that manager Brad Ausmus will not return next season, has lost six straight and allowed has allowed double-digit runs eight times in September. At 62-93, the Tigers will finish with their worst record since going 43-119 in 2003.
Daniel Stumpf (0-1) allowed three runs and three hits without retiring a batter in his first big league decision.
Mauer singled off Wilson to open the eighth, fracturing Wilson's right fibula.
Jorge Polanco greeted Stumpf with a single, and Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Escobar followed with RBI singles for a 4-3 lead. Robbie Grossman hit a two-run off Joe Jimenez, Jason Castro had an RBI groundout and Granite, who entered as a pinch runner for Mauer, went deep against Blaine Hardy in his 93rd big league plate appearance.
Grossman's RBI single in the seventh began Minnesota's comeback.
Efren Navarro hit two solo home runs for Detroit.
Tigers: 1B Miguel Cabrera left in the second inning with lower back tightness ... Candelario left in the ninth inning with a bruised right knee. ... OF Mikie Mahtook, who reinjured his left groin while fielding a ball in the left-field corner Friday's loss to the Twins, probably will not play again this season. He has a Grade 2 strain, Ausmus said. ... RHP Jeff Farrell (concussion symptoms) also seems doubtful to return to action before season's end. "He's progressing through the concussion protocol, but he's not been cleared," Ausmus said.
Twins: OF Max Kepler left the game in the second inning with a left hip injury.
RHP Jose Berrios (12-8), who starts for the Twins in Sunday's series finale, is winless since Aug. 30 and has surrendered 11 earned runs in his last 21 innings. RHP Buck Farmer (4-4), who starts for the Tigers, is 1-3 with an 8.59 ERA in four September starts.More