Twins' offense surging into All-Star break

Minnesota thumps Tigers on back-to-back days after sweeping O's

Twins' offense surging into All-Star break

MINNEAPOLIS -- After being one of the biggest surprises in baseball in the first half of the season, the Twins wanted to head into the All-Star break with some momentum during a seven-game homestand against the contending Orioles and Tigers.

It's gone exactly to plan for the Twins, who with a 9-5 win over Detroit on Saturday have won five of six after sweeping the Orioles and completing an epic comeback walk-off win on Friday, which saw them become the first team over the last two seasons to overcome a five-run deficit in the ninth inning.

Twins plate seven in 9th inning

It's helped the Twins shake off their struggles against the Tigers, as they're now 4-8 against them after back-to-back wins. Twins manager Paul Molitor said he believed some of the momentum carried from Friday, and that the Twins were also excited they found out Brian Dozier was named an All-Star before the game.

"When you're really trying to beat a team that's had your number and the losses keep mounting, it just seems like the pressure builds, but I think that was alleviated by what we did last night," Molitor said. "Guys came in feeling good about today. And they were also elated about the news about Brian, which was a pick-us-up."

The Twins, picked by many to finish last in the American League Central before the season, will head to the All-Star break in second place ahead of the Tigers, who are now 3 1/2 games behind Minnesota with one game left before the break.

The success of the rotation has been the major reason for the Twins' success this season, but it was the offense that did the job on Saturday. Torii Hunter, Aaron Hicks, Kurt Suzuki and Danny Santana each had two RBIs, as they knocked out Tigers starter Alfredo Simon after just 2 1/3 innings.

Hicks' two-run triple

"It was a much-needed win yesterday, and we could've easily came back flat and felt like we wasted it all last night, but we were right back at it," Dozier said. "That's the good thing about this team. Every time we step on the field, we believe we can win a ballgame."

The win also helped the Twins become the first team to reach 30 wins at home in the AL, as they're now 30-16 at Target Field this season. It's a marked improvement over recent seasons, as Minnesota was a combined 131-193 at Target Field over the previous four years.

"To be a contender, you have to win at home," Dozier said. "We've struggled with that in the past, but it's totally different this year. Just the energy in the stands and everything is completely different this year. But the fans are enjoying it and we're enjoying it, and we're right where we need to be."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.