MINNEAPOLIS – Ian Kinsler had knocked in three runs and left-hander David Price pitched seven quality innings as the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2 at Target Field on Thursday.
Dozier homered off closer Joakim Soria (3-1), who blew his third save in 23 chances.
For the second time in five days, Dozier’s teammates spilled from the dugout and mobbed him at home plate as he completed the sweetest trot in the game.
“My Twitter feed today, I don’t know how it didn’t crash already”, Dozier said after the results were announced.
Santana just didn’t look sharp.
Kelly Johnson connected for his ninth homer, a three-run shot in the sixth inning and Cameron Maybin singled in the sixth to extend his hitting streak to a career-high tying 10 games (see full recap).
For us and the situation were in, every game is going to be important from here on out, Kinsler said. “Whatever the score is you have to be mentally ready for the game”, said Soria, who wasn’t warming up at the beginning of the inning.
Three Tigers went deep in the game.
“Dozier right now is definitely our MVP”, outfielder Torii Hunter said. “He’s doing everything he can to will this team to win”.
The Tigers improved to 15-3 in games in which Price has started this season.
Dozier’s RBI single in the eighth chased Verlander, who had the best outing of his truncated season.
On my day I want us to win and I tell these guys that, Price said.
After allowing seven runs in the ninth in Friday’s game, I don’t trust the Tigers confidence heading into this matchup on a quick turnaround.
“I didn’t feel that good in the first two or three innings, but my defense picked me up and the offense, early with Ian and again late, that was a good job”, Price said.
In Boston, Alex Rodriguez hit his 17th home run in the first inning and Michael Pineda had another impressive start.
Santana was lifted after the fourth, having allowed six earned runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out five. He hit safely in each of the first seven games of his major league career. “Tonight was much better than last time”.
3B Miguel Sano went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
The Tigers built a 6-0 lead on homers from Yoenis Cespedes, J.D. Martinez hit his 25th homer beyond the fence in right-center field for a six-run lead. 323 while averaging 5.9 runs in its last 14 games and had 12 hits Friday at Minnesota (47-40).
“That one stunk”, manager Brad Ausmus said. He not only leads the Twins in home runs but also in runs (66), runs batted in (49), total bases (177), doubles (26), walks (34) and stolen bases (nine).
Notes: The Tigers granted RHP Joba Chamberlain his unconditional release. The Tigers will have the pleasure of facing Santana in game 2 of their series with the Twins, hoping that they can get to Santana early and give Justin Verlander the run support he needs to go deep into the game.