Max Kepler lined a game-ending single off All-Star closer Gregory Soto with two outs in the 10th inning to give the Minnesota Twins a 6-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night in Minneapolis.
It was the second walk-off hit of the season for Kepler, who drove a 99 mph sinker from Soto (4-2). Kenta Maeda, scheduled to start Tuesday night’s contest on the mound for Minnesota, scored the winner as a pinch runner.
Caleb Thielbar (3-0) tossed a 1-2-3 top of the 10th to earn the victory.
Brent Rooker and Josh Donaldson each hit a tape-measure home run and Mitch Garver had two doubles, a run and an RBI for the Twins. Miguel Sano added a single and a double for Minnesota, which won for just the fourth time in 12 games since All-Star break.
Robbie Grossman hit a two-run, pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning to tie it, 5-5, and Miguel Cabrera and Eric Haase also homered for Detroit, which lost for the eighth straight time on the road.
The Tigers have dropped four in a row overall after winning their first seven following the break.
Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Donaldson led off with a single and came around to score on Garver’s double off the wall in right-center.
The Twins extended their lead to 2-0 in the fourth when Garver doubled down the left field line and scored on a single by Miguel Sano.
Detroit tied it in the sixth on Cabrera’s eighth home run of the season, a two-run shot into the bleachers in right that drove in Jonathan Schoop, who had singled.
It was the 495th career homer for Cabrera who ranks 28th on the all-time list, nine behind Eddie Murray in 27th. The extra-base hit was the 1,100th for Cabrera, making him the 21st player to reach that milestone.
Minnesota answered with three runs in the bottom half of the sixth to take a 5-2 lead. Rooker led off with his third home run of the season, a 460-foot drive into the third deck in left, the second consecutive game he hit a homer into the third deck.
Jorge Polanco followed with a walk, chasing starter Matt Manning. Donaldson then hit reliever Jose Cisnero’s second pitch also into the third deck above the bullpen in left-center. That homer was measured at 446 feet and was Donaldson’s 16th long ball of the season.
The Tigers cut it to 5-3 in the seventh when Haase belted his 16th home run of the season into the second deck in left off reliever Tyler Duffey.
Grossman then tied it in the ninth with his 16th homer. He connected against reliever Alex Colome, who came in for Taylor Rogers. Rogers departed after throwing five pitches with what the team announced was a left middle finger sprain.