MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — All that Logan Forsythe has done since arriving in Minnesota is get hits.
The veteran infielder joined the Twins at the beginning of August in a trade that sent popular second baseman Brian Dozier to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Thursday night was Forsythe’s 14th game in a Minnesota uniform, and arguably his best.
Forsythe had a career-high five hits and Jorge Polanco drove in four runs as the Twins outslugged the Detroit Tigers for a 15-8 victory.
“Forsythe has come over here and has gotten on fire,” manager Paul Molitor said. “It’s given us a big lift.”
The teams combined for seven homers, with Polanco’s three-run shot accounting for one of three by the Twins. Miguel Sano and Ehire Adrianza also went deep for Minnesota, which broke the game open with a seven-run sixth inning.
Forsythe raised his batting average with the Twins to .449 (22 for 49). He was lifted for a pinch-runner in the seventh and received a nice ovation from the Target Field crowd.
“I just felt like I’ve been in a good place and I just try to stay consistent with that approach, and the work, and it just came out tonight,” said Forsythe, who had two doubles. “A little luck’s involved when you get five in one night.”
Minnesota chased Tigers lefty Francisco Liriano (3-8) in the second. A two-run, opposite-field homer by Sano ended Liriano’s night after he allowed eight runs, four earned.
“Frankie obviously didn’t have his stuff and they whacked him around pretty good,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We got back in the ballgame pretty nicely and then they had another big inning.”
Twins starter Ervin Santana wasn’t particularly sharp, either, in his fifth start after missing most of the year rehabbing a finger injury. Santana was pulled in the fifth after loading the bases with nobody out. He gave up seven runs and seven hits.
Mikie Mahtook and James McCann hit consecutive homers off Santana in the fourth to trim Minnesota’s lead to 8-5. It was the first time all season the Tigers connected for back-to-back shots.
“It was one of those games where you need to keep fighting through it and put together some good at-bats,” Mahtook said. “Unfortunately, some of their balls found holes and they scored more runs than we did.”
Polanco’s first-inning homer put the Twins up 3-2 after Nicholas Castellanos’ two-run homer in the top of the inning gave Detroit an early lead.
The Tigers threatened in the fifth, and Trevor May walked in a pair of runs in relief of Santana to make it an 8-7 game.
May (1-0) was credited with the win, his first since July 29, 2016, after missing last year due to elbow surgery. He threw two scoreless innings after walking in runs charged to Santana.
“Getting a win added next to my name, especially as a reliever, is I think less important than just wins in general,” May said.
GARDENHIRE WEIGHS IN
One day after Marlins right-hander Jose Urena hit streaking Braves rookie Ronald Acuna with his first pitch of the game, the play was a common topic in MLB clubhouses. Urena was handed a six-game suspension.
Gardenhire offered his opinion on the subject when asked about it before Thursday’s series opener in Minnesota.
“I would be mad enough if I were the manager, I might start him tomorrow and lead him off just so they can smoke him and knock him out just because he did something so stupid, throw at a kid like that just because he’s hit home runs,” Gardenhire said.
Tigers: SS Jose Iglesias was out of the lineup and will miss “a couple days,” according to Gardenhire. Iglesias injured his right thumb during Tuesday’s game against the White Sox.
Twins: LHP Adalberto Mejia underwent a series of tests on his left wrist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and was diagnosed with nerve irritation. The team said there is no timetable for Mejia to begin rehabbing. He was injured Aug. 7 against Cleveland.
Tigers: LHP Matthew Boyd (7-10, 4.20 ERA) takes the mound looking to build off his last start, a six-inning, two-hit effort against the Twins five days ago in Detroit.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (6-9, 3.49) got the win against the Tigers his last time out, allowing just one run over seven innings.