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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press

    Detroit Tigers pinch hitter Victor Martinez hits a three-run off Minnesota Twins pitcher Michael Tonkin during the ninth inning in the first game of a baseball doubleheader Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, in Minneapolis. The Tigers won 9-2.
  • Associated Press

    Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander throws against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning in the second game of a baseball doubleheader Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, in Minneapolis.
September 22, 2016 11:38 PM

Verlander, Tigers sweep Twins, move into AL wild-card spot

BRIAN HALL | Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS – Justin Verlander tied a season-high with 11 strikeouts and the Detroit Tigers moved into the second AL wild-card spot by beating the Minnesota Twins 4-2 Thursday to sweep a day-night doubleheader.

Erick Aybar drove in two runs for Detroit, which moved a half-game ahead of Baltimore for the second wild card and trails Toronto by one game. The Tigers went 9-0 at Minnesota this year.

Victor Martinez had a pinch-hit, three-run homer during a six-run ninth inning as Detroit won the opener 9-2. Justin Upton added his 26th home run.

Verlander (15-8) allowed four hits in six innings, including home runs by Juan Centeno and Byron Buxton. He has won 12 of his last 13 starts against the Twins.

Francisco Rodriguez got three outs for his 44th save in 48 chances