Kepler 2-run triple, Maeda sharp, Twins top Tigers 4-2

MINNEAPOLIS — Max Kepler hit a two-run triple during a four-run sixth inning and the Minnesota Twins waited out another young Detroit starter, beating the Tigers 4-2 Friday night.

Like left-hander Tarik Skubal a night earlier, Detroit rookie Matt Manning didn’t allow a hit through the first four innings.

Minnesota finally broke through with an RBI single by Trevor Larnach to start the scoring in the sixth. Left fielder Robbie Grossman tried for Kepler’s sinking liner, but it hit the ground and skipped past him.

Jorge Alcala (2-3) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of a standout Kenta Maeda.

Maeda was out after five scoreless innings and 84 pitches. Minnesota didn’t announce an injury for him.

Hansel Robles recorded five outs for his ninth save.

Manning (1-3) was vying for his best career outing in his fifth major league start. Like Skubal the previous night, Manning’s no-hit bid ended with one out in the fifth. He allowed two hits and three walks.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Skubal and Manning are the first rookie starters to have back-to-back games with 4 1/3 no-hit innings since St. Louis’ Daniel Ponce de Leon and Austin Gomber in 2018.

Manning allowed a single to Luis Arraez and walked Josh Donaldson to start the sixth. Ian Krol, making his first appearance in the majors since one outing with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018, came on in relief. He allowed both inherited runners to score and surrendered two more runs before Buck Farmer ended the inning.

Grossman hit a two-run homer, his career-high 12th of the season, in the eighth.


Tigers: LHP Derek Holland (left shoulder inflammation) made a rehab start on Thursday with Triple-A Toledo. Holland pitched a scoreless inning with a walk. … Miguel Cabrera played 1B for the first time since June 22 and manager A.J. Hinch said he made the decision based on the way Cabrera has been moving better. Cabrera will be out of the lineup on Saturday.

Twins: C Mitch Garver (groin contusion) caught a bullpen session on Thursday and manager Rocco Baldelli indicated Garver and OF Jake Cave (stress reaction in low back) could start a rehab assignment next week. Garver has been out since June 2 and Cave has been out since May 13. … OF Byron Buxton has done some aerobic-type work and swung a bat one-handed but he’s not been cleared for any further activity with his left-hand fracture.


RHP Bailey Ober (1-1, 4.85 ERA) will start for Minnesota on Saturday. Detroit manager A.J. Hinch wanted to get through Friday’s game and see his bullpen usage before declaring his starting pitcher. Ober earned his first career win in his last start with five scoreless innings against the Chicago White Sox.

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