Minneapolis, MN – Eduardo Escobar doubled home the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Minnesota Twins rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers from Target Field.
The Twins fought back from a 2-0 deficit after six innings to rebound from Monday's 4-2 setback to the defending American League champion Tigers, with Wilkin Ramirez contributing a pinch-hit, RBI double in the bottom of the seventh.
Escobar's double off Phil Coke (0-1) made a winner out of Glen Perkins (1-0) after the Minnesota closer tossed a 1-2-3 top of the ninth. Starter Kevin Correia aided the cause by firing seven solid innings in which the offseason acquisition yielded just two runs while scattering seven hits.
Anibal Sanchez threw five shutout frames for Detroit, with 2012 AL Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera knocking in both Tiger runs with a pair of RBI singles.
The Twins trailed 2-1 heading into their final at-bat and were down to their next-to-last out after Coke retired Chris Parmelee with Jamey Carroll, pinch- running after Trevor Plouffe drew a leadoff walk against Joaquin Benoit, on first.
Brian Dozier then blooped a single to right to move Carroll to third, and Escobar sent both runners home by driving Coke's first pitch off the left- center field wall to complete the comeback.
"The ball kept carrying," said Dozier. "I saw (Tigers center fielder Austin) Jackson actually look to the left fielder two or three times, they didn't know [where it was]. We capitalized on that."
Plouffe also walked against Darin Downs to start the bottom of the seventh and later stole second with the Tigers holding a 2-0 lead. He crossed the plate with Minnesota's first run on Ramirez's two-out cue shot down the first-base line off Brayan Villarreal.
Correia's Twins debut began very well, as he set down eight of the first nine Detroit hitters before Austin Jackson worked a two-out walk in the top of the third. After Torii Hunter singled to extend the inning, Cabrera shot a ground ball through the left side of the infield to plate Jackson for a 1-0 lead.
Cabrera came through in a two-on, two-out situation in his next at-bat as well. Singles by Omar Infante and Hunter put runners on the corners for the reigning AL MVP, who served a Correia offering into right field for another RBI single in the fifth.
Sanchez was able to work around a couple of first-inning walks and did not surrender a hit until the fourth, when Justin Morneau followed a free pass to leadoff batter Josh Willingham with a base hit. The Detroit right-hander recorded a key strikeout of Ryan Doumit, however, before retiring the next two hitters to get out of the jam.
He allowed just two hits while striking out five, but was removed after throwing 95 pitches through five innings. Minnesota then finally broke through against the Detroit bullpen in the seventh.
"We didn't do much really offensively to give ourselves a cushion, and they hung in there and got a couple of big hits at the end," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Correia was pitching for the first time for an AL team after making 290 appearances (including 159 starts) over 10 seasons with three National League clubs (San Francisco, San Diego, Pittsburgh) ... Detroit had prevailed in 16 of its last 20 visits to Target Field prior to Wednesday's loss ... Tiger pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts on the afternoon ... Hunter finished 2- for-4 for Detroit.