MINNEAPOLIS -- Andrew Romine played all nine positions and helped the Tigers push past the Twins, 3-2, on Saturday night at Target Field. With the win, Detroit snapped its six-game losing streak to Minnesota.
"Once I got done with the circus that we had going on, I was really just, 'Let's get this save, then we can move on and celebrate.' It was huge to get a W in the process of doing it," Romine said.
Romine became the fifth player in Major League history to play all nine positions in a game, and the first since former Tiger Shane Halter did it on the final day of the 2000 season against the Twins at Comerica Park. Others to play all nine positions include Bert Campaneris (Sept. 8, 1965), Cesar Tovar (Sept. 22, 1968) and Scott Sheldon (Sept. 6, 2000).
Tigers right-hander Buck Farmer, who earned the win, held the postseason-bound Twins to one run on four hits across five innings. Farmer (5-5, 6.75 ERA) struck out three and walked four. The lone run off Farmer came on a bases-loaded walk to Max Kepler in the first.
Detroit scored one unearned run off a pair of singles in the second and added two in the fifth, which was enough to hand Minnesota right-hander Aaron Slegers the loss. Slegers lasted 4 1/3 innings, in which he gave up three runs (two earned) off three hits. Jeimer Candelario (single) and Alex Presley (fielder's choice) were responsible for the two runs in the fifth.
"It felt great, honestly," Slegers said. "It didn't feel like it was as much time off as it was. I was happy with throwing strikes and hitting spots early. I felt pretty good."
Miguel Sano, who was activated off the disabled list Friday, delivered his first hit since Aug. 18 with a single through the left side in the first. According to Statcast™, Sano's single had an exit velocity of 113.6 mph. That is tied for his third-hardest hit of the season. Zack Granite recorded an RBI single in the seventh.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Pinch-hit single: With the score tied at 1-1 in the fifth, the Tigers elected to pinch-hit for Jose Iglesias, to move Romine over to shortstop the following frame. The move paid off, however, as Candelario smacked the go-ahead base knock into left. Candelario then moved to second on the throw and ended up at third on a throwing error by Jason Castro. One batter later, Presley added an insurance run on a fielder's choice, as the Twins were unable to make a play at the plate.
"I thought Slegers did a really nice job, considering his layoff," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "We basically gave them five outs in the inning when they scored a couple runs, which is tough to overcome."
Farmer escapes early jam:The Twins appeared poised to jump on Farmer early, loading the bases in the first inning on a pair of singles and a walk. With the bags full, Farmer then issued a free pass to Kepler, which drove in the game's first run. Farmer responded by getting Eduardo Escobar to swing through an 0-2 fastball for an inning-ending punchout.
"It made things light. It made things fun. We had something to look forward to. If it didn't happen in Detroit, I'm glad it happened here, because these fans, they respect sports, they respect other teams. It was fun to see the way that they acknowledged it. And when they said something, I got to acknowledge the fans, acknowledge the other dugout, to say thank you for letting me do that." -- Romine, on playing nine positions and the fan reaction
PERKINS MAKES EMOTIONAL APPEARANCE
Twins left-hander Glen Perkins, who missed 16 months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn left labrum in his shoulder, was brought in by Molitor to record the final out of the top of the ninth. The former closer came out to his walkup music of Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down," and retired Romine on a popup to first baseman Kennys Vargas. Perkins got the game ball from Vargas, and was clearly emotional, as it might have been the three-time All-Star's final appearance with Minnesota.
"It was good to get Perk in the game," Molitor said. "I'm not sure how it's going to proceed, but it was good. It just worked out, the moment was right. Two outs in the ninth, he's been there before, so that was good."
WHAT'S NEXT Tigers:Anibal Sanchez (3-6, 6.46) makes what will likely be his final start as a Tiger on Sunday as the club's season ends with a 3:10 p.m. ET game against the Twins at Target Field.
Twins:Right-hander Bartolo Colon (6-14, 6.72 ERA) is slated to start the regular-season finale Sunday at 2:10 p.m. CT. Last time out, Colon was pulled after one inning due to an illness and allowed two runs to the Indians. Colon is 8-10 with a 5.40 ERA in 26 outings against Detroit.