DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers are suddenly playing like the relevant team they were expected to be after aggressively making moves in the offseason.
Daz Cameron hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning and the surging Tigers held on to beat the slumping Minnesota Twins 3-2 Thursday.
Cameron’s 416-foot shot to left-center off Emilio Pagan (1-2) scored Eric Haase, who hit a one-out single for the Tigers.
Detroit has won seven of its last nine games to make up some ground as the fourth-place team in the AL Central after a 14-28 start.
“This is what we expected to do this season because we have a ton of talent, and filled a lot of voids with a totally different team,” Haase said. “We’re starting to find our stride and to do that with only one starting pitcher that we broke camp with is impressive.”
Jonathan Schoop has had a lot to do with the Tigers’ turnaround, hitting an RBI single in the first inning of the series finale to account for seven of their 10 runs over two-plus games.
Cameron lifted Detroit to its fourth win in the five-game series against Minnesota by clearing the fences in spacious Comerica Park with a shot that even center fielder Byron Buxton seemed to know he had no chance to catch.
“When he stopped running, the center fielder for them, I knew it was gone,” Detroit shortstop Harold Castro said.
Alex Lange (3-1) gave up two walks and struck out one in the pivotal eighth inning and Gregory Soto closed or his 10th save.
AL Central-leading Minnesota, the division’s only team with a winning record, has lost seven of 10.
“Every team goes through a stretch where the schedule gets tough,” Pagan said. “Everybody is banged up. It seems like across the league, there’s a lot of injuries right now….