DETROIT (AP) — Jonathan Schoop became the third player from Curaçao with 1,000 major league hits and finished a home run shy of the cycle, helping the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 7-5 on Monday in the opener of a five-game series.
Schoop, a 30-year-old infielder in his 10th big league season, singled in the third inning, doubled in the fifth for his 1,000th hit and tripled leading off the seventh as part of a 3-for-5 afternoon that lifted his average from .173 to .185.
Schoop joined Andruw Jones (1,933) and Andrelton Simmons (1,163 through Sunday) as players from Curaçao with 1,000 hits,
“It’s a great feeling, because that’s always been one of my personal goals,” Schoop said. “It feels even better in a win.”
Rookie Spencer Torkelson, another slumping Tigers player, had his first three-hit game with two singles and a double. His seventh-inning RBI infield single off Joe Smith (0-1) put the Tigers ahead 5-4, aided by first baseman José Miranda badly overthrowing Smith as the pitcher covered first.
“That’s probably the biggest play of the game, and it ended up with a young guy who isn’t very experienced at first base,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “It might be the toughest play for an infielder, but there are tricks you learn to help you make it. José doesn’t have that knowledge yet, and it costs us there.
Willi Castro followed with another run-scoring single.
Gio Urshela cut the deficit with an RBI double in the eighth against Alex Lange, and Javier Báez had a run-scoring single in the bottom half to restore a two-run lead.
“We put the ball in play, and even though it wasn’t always hard contact, we were creating action,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “There was a lot to like today, and that’s where it starts.
“This is a very good way to kick off a long series against a division rival.”
Detroit overcame a 3-1 deficit and scored more than four runs for the first time since May 15.
“We put together some really good at-bats and passed the baton,” Schoop said. “That’s how we need to play on a consistent basis. If we do that, we’ll be right back in this.”
Joe Jiménez (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings of one-hit relief. Gregory Soto worked around Nick Gordon’s leadoff single in the ninth for his ninth save in 10 chances.
Tigers starter Beau Briske remained 0-4 in seven big league starts, allowing four runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Twins starter Dylan Bundy gave up four runs and nine hits in six innings, throwing a season-high 95 pitches.
“As a pitcher, you try to limit hard contact, and I thought I did a pretty good job of that,” Bundy said. “It just seemed like every time they made soft contact, it was at an empty spot on the field.”
Gary Sánchez homered leading off the second, Derek Hill’s first home run of the season tied the score in the third and Miranda gave Minnesota a 3-1 lead with a two-run homer in the fourth.
Torkelson’s RBI double and Castro’s run-scoring single tied the score in the bottom half, and Jeimer Candelario’s single put the Tigers ahead in the fifth.
Urshela’s homer made it 4-4 in the sixth.
Hill nearly homered again in the ninth, but his drive down the left-field line was ruled foul after a replay review. He walked and scored on Báez’s single.
The Twins placed INF Royce Lewis (knee) on the 10-day IL and recalled Miranda from Triple-A St. Paul. … Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa both had scheduled days off before Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader. Buxton pinch hit in the ninth inning, but Correa’s COVID test came back positive during the game, and he will miss the rest of the series. … OF Max Kepler sat out with a sore quadriceps. Baldelli is hoping to have Kepler available for at least one of Tuesday’s games.
The Tigers placed OF Robbie Grossman (neck) on the injured list and recalled INF Kody Clemens, a son of seven-time Cy Young Award winner, from Triple-A Toledo for a possible big league debut. Miguel Cabrera (back) was given an extra day of rest.
Buxton’s struggles continue
After striking out in the ninth, Buxton is 0-for-22 with seven strikeouts this season against the Tigers. Baldelli, though, said that had nothing to do with Buxton not starting on Monday.
“I had no idea that was even the case until just now, and I will probably have forgotten about it five minutes from now,” he said. “That certainly didn’t play any role in my thinking.”