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Twins stretch HR streak to 20 games as Margot, Correa go deep in 5-3 win over Tigers

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Manny Margot and Carlos Correa went deep to keep Minnesota’s club-record home run streak going at 20 games, and the Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 5-3 on Tuesday night.

Byron Buxton scored the go-ahead run in the seventh with a head-first dive into home plate after leading off the inning with a double, and Royce Lewis hit a two-run double off Tigers ace Tarik Skubal before departing with tightness in his left groin muscle.

After rookie Simeon Woods Richardson pitched two outs into the sixth to match Skubal, who has quietly become one of the most dominant pitchers in the majors, the Twins got shutdown relief from Jorge Alcala (2-3), Griffin Jax in the eighth and closer Jhoan Duran in a perfect ninth to move a season-high 11 games (48-37) above the .500 mark. Duran earned his 13th save of the season.

“We’ve been clicking,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We want to carry this on to the second half and get even better.”

Justyn-Henry Malloy homered and Ryan Kreidler hit a two-run shot off Woods Richardson for the Tigers (38-47), who lost for the 17th time in their last 24 games.

Skubal gave up consecutive singles with one out in the third inning and was dragged through an 11-pitch at-bat by Correa, who hit six foul balls before taking a called third strike.

“I think he threw everything but a curveball to him, right?” Lewis said. “I thought he was going to get a hit. I was so locked into the at-bat, I didn’t even know how many outs there were.”

Lewis refocused to smack a changeup — the same pitch in the same spot he took a called third strike on in his first at-bat — down the left-field line.

“Hats off to that lineup. They made me battle,” Skubal said. “I thought I threw the ball where I wanted to.”

Buxton, who also walked twice, made a diving catch of Riley Greene’s sinking line drive to center field in the first inning. He has been heating up this summer after a slow start coming off yet another injury-marred season in 2023.

Buxton took third on a wild pitch by Will Vest (1-2) in the seventh and, on a high chopper by Ryan Jeffers that cleared the mound and was fielded by second baseman Colt Keith, raced home with the infield in to beat the throw and put the Twins back in front.

“We’re seeing it right now. He’s very explosive and playing the game the way he knows how to play it,” Baldelli said.

Skubal, whose 2.45 ERA is sixth in MLB among pitchers with a qualifying amount of innings, threw 94 pitches against the best-hitting team in baseball against left-handers.

“We’ve been very consistent with Tarik and what we’re asking out of him this year,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “We’ve leaned on him a ton. He’s a power pitcher. He empties his tank. We felt like he’d done his part.”

ROTATION SHUFFLE

The Tigers were planning to place RHP Casey Mize on the 15-day injured list after he left his previous start on Sunday early with hamstring trouble and bring back RHP Keider Montero, one of their top prospects, for at least a couple of turns in their rotation.

They also scratched RHP Jack Flaherty from his scheduled start on Wednesday after he received a second injection to alleviate tightness in his lower back. He’s expected to start early next week.

UP NEXT

Montero (0-2, 9.35 ERA) was expected to take the mound for the Tigers in the middle game of the series in place of Flaherty. Rookie David Festa (1-0, 9.00 ERA) will make his second major league start for the Twins on Wednesday night.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Sports Writer

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