Berrios sharp, Hildenberger clutch as Twins beat Tigers 6-4
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jose Berrios calls himself “a normal guy,” and his teammates describe him as “humble.”
“I’m feeling proud, but not like the way, ‘Oh, I’m the guy,'” Berrios said.
Two standing ovations in two home games suggest he very much is “the guy.”
Minnesota’s ace pitched into the seventh inning for his first win since opening day, Trevor Hildenberger struck out two with the bases loaded for his first save and the Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 6-4 Sunday to complete a two-game sweep.
Berrios didn’t dominate like the last time he pitched at home, when he set a club record with 10 strikeouts. He watched a two-run lead evaporate when Gordon Beckham’s two-run shot made it 2-2 in the second.
But the young righty went back to his fastball and changeup, retired 11 straight and 15 of his last 17. He yielded four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts through 6 2/3 innings before being lifted for Trevor May.
“The way that we adjusted shows that he’s a good pitcher, and he can adjust and make those changes when he needs to,” catcher Mitch Garver said.
C.J. Cron homered and drove in three, and Eddie Rosario was a triple short of the cycle for the Twins, who have won three of four. Cron’s two-run shot in the third off starter Jordan Zimmermann (0-2) was one of seven extra-base hits for Minnesota.
The Tigers wasted two late based-loaded chances.
In the eighth, May was pulled for Taylor Rogers after Stewart’s no-out double scored Jeimer Candelario to make it 6-3. Greiner legged out an infield RBI single, and Rogers hit Dustin Peterson to load the bases for Ronny Rodriguez with one out. Rodriguez popped out to first, and Beckham struck out swinging.
Blake Parker loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but Hildenberger came on and got John Hicks and Grayson Greiner swinging.
“We had some good at-bats, but we needed one more hit,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said.
It didn’t take Minnesota long to retake the lead after Beckham’s homer. Garver led off the second with a double to left and came around to score when Byron Buxton followed with a double of his own to the same spot.
In the third, Rosario doubled and Cron followed with a liner to the left field seats for his first homer as a Twin. Zimmermann made it out of the inning, but Daniel Norris came out for the fourth and threw three scoreless innings before Rosario chased him with a solo shot in the seventh.
Buxton went 2 for 4 with an RBI and raised his batting average to .324. He also made a highlight-reel catch in the third with a leaping grab while crashing into the outfield wall to rob Christin Stewart for the inning’s second out.
“Those are the kind of plays that do change the game,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.
ZIMMERMANN’S EARLY EXIT
In his shortest outing of the season, Zimmermann lasted three innings and allowed five runs and eight hits with one strikeout.
“For whatever reason, my slider’s not doing what it’s supposed to do right now and just spinning,” Zimmermann said. “I don’t know if it’s me not getting out in front or what it is, but I’m going to go look at the film and see if I can figure some things out.”
Tigers: LHP Matt Moore will have surgery this week to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. Moore said he’s hoping for a recovery time of 4 to 6 weeks, although the Tigers won’t know a timetable until after Wednesday’s scheduled procedure in Dallas. Moore originally hurt the knee April 6 when he left in the third inning of his start against Kansas City. Since then, Moore said he’s had two setbacks. … Nicholas Castellanos sat out with an injured big right toe. … INF/OF Niko Goodrum was still recovering from an illness, and INF Josh Harrison rested with a sore left shoulder, but both were available off the bench.
Twins: 3B Miguel Sano took grounders at third before the game. He’s out with a right heel laceration and is scheduled to head to Fort Myers, Florida, this week for extended spring training.
Tigers: Off Monday before hosting Pittsburgh in a two-game interleague series. LHP Matthew Boyd (1-1) takes the mound against RHP Joe Musgrove (1-1).
Twins: Open a four-game set with Toronto on Monday. Martin Perez (1-0) makes his first start with Minnesota since signing with the club in January. He’s made three relief appearances and has a 7.56 ERA over 8 1/3 innings. Perez will start opposite RHP Matt Shoemaker (3-0).
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