The Associated Press
DETROIT–Eduardo Escobar may be having the most unpredicted success on the surprising Minnesota Twins.
Escobar hit his 20th home run, and Jorge Polanco also went deep, as Minnesota dumped the Detroit Tigers 10-4 yesterday to complete a four-game sweep that moved the Twins closer to securing a wild-card berth in the playoffs.
“A part-time player most of the year and he ends up with 20 homers,” noted Twins’ manager Paul Molitor.
“I don’t know if anybody would have projected that.”
Escobar was batting .208 as late as June 2. His three-run drive in the sixth off Victor Alcantara was his 11th home run since July 23.
Minnesota (82-74) has a 4.5-game lead over the L.A. Angels and a 5.5-game advantage over Kansas City and Texas for the second AL wild card.
The Twins outscored the Tigers 39-12 in the sweep.
Polanco hit a first-inning solo homer off Buck Farmer (4-5) before Brian Dozier’s second-inning RBI single and Zack Granite’s fourth-inning sacrifice fly built a 3-0 lead.
The Twins boosted their advantage to five runs in the fifth when Eddie Rosario had an RBI groundout and another run scored on an error by second baseman Dixon Machado.
Joe Mauer’s two-run single in the sixth preceded Eduardo’s homer.
Detroit, meanwhile, has lost seven-straight and 14-of-16, dropping into last place in the AL Central.
At 62-94, the Tigers will finish with their worst record since going 43-119 in 2003.
“I’m disappointed in the way the season went,” said Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus, told Friday he won’t return next season.
“When you start the season, every team is hoping for big things, and it didn’t work out that way.”