MINNEAPOLIS -- Ronny Rodriguez hit a grand slam to highlight a five-run sixth inning, and Dawel Lugo and Harold Castro each had two doubles and a single to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 9-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night, Aug. 23.
Rodriguez went 3-for-5 with two runs and a stolen base, and Miguel Cabrera, Jordy Mercer and Travis Demeritte also had two hits of Detroit's 17 hits.
Drew VerHagen (4-2), making just his fourth start of the season and the eighth of his six-year career, held the Twins to three runs on five hits while striking out a career-high 11. He fanned five in a row during the third and fourth innings.
Miguel Sano hit two home runs and drove in three runs, and Jake Cave had two solo shots for Minnesota, which saw its American League Central lead shrink to 2 1/2 games over Cleveland.
Jose Berrios (10-7) allowed five runs on 10 hits and two walks while striking out five in 5 1/3 innings. Berrios, winless in four starts this month, has allowed 24 runs, 20 earned, over 21 1/3 innings during that span, an 8.44 ERA.
Minnesota took a 3-0 lead behind a first-inning RBI double by Nelson Cruz and solo home runs by Sano in the second and Cave in the fifth.
Detroit then scored five in the sixth to chase Berrios while taking a 5-3 lead.
Castro and Cabrera opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Lugo, who replaced Niko Goodrum (left groin tightness) in the fourth, then doubled to drive in Castro.
One out later, Demeritte walked to load the bases. Rodriguez then followed with his 10th homer of the season, a towering 420-foot drive down the left field line.
The Tigers extended their lead to 7-3 in the eighth on Castro's two-run double to right.
The Twins cut it to 7-5 in the bottom half of the inning on Sano's second homer of the game and 25th of the season, a 402-foot, two-run drive into the third deck down the left field line.
Detroit answered in the ninth on a two-run single by Demeritte. Cave hit his second homer of the night and fourth of the season to end the scoring in the bottom of the ninth.