Brandon Inge hasn't had a 2011 to remember or anything, but he provided a nice bit of help for the Detroit Tigers on Saturday afternoon in their game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park.
Inge, who had spent the last month at Triple-A Toledo, launched a 2-1 offering from Twins' lefty Glen Perkins into the left field seats for a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Tigers a 3-2 victory over Minnesota. It was Detroit's eighth consecutive victory, and increased their lead over the second-place Chicago White Sox in the American League Central to 9.5 games.
Detroit got on the board first in this one when Wilson Betemit cranked a home run off of Twins' starter Anthony Swarzak in the bottom of the third inning, a solo blast that gave Detroit a 1-0 lead. The Twins answered in the top of the fourth when Joe Mauer. . .yes, that Joe Mauer. . .led off the frame with a solo shot of his own off of Tigers' starter Max Scherzer to tie the game at one.
A single by Victor Martinez in the bottom of the fourth put the Tigers ahead once again, 2-1. Minnesota answered back with Danny Valencia's sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth inning and tied the game again, this time at two. The score remained that way until the bottom of the ninth, when Inge hit his winning home run.
Detroit reliever Al Alburquerque made no left turns in his inning of relief, and wound up picking up the win to push his record to 6-1 on the season. Perkins took the loss to drop his record to 4-4.
The Twins will, once again, attempt to avoid a sweep in Sunday's series finale at Comerica Park. First pitch from Detroit is scheduled for 12:05 PM Central time, and the pitching match-up will pit Minnesota's Scott Diamond (1-3, 4.56 ERA) against Detroit's Doug Fister (7-13, 3.17 ERA).