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Twins close big day with a downer, let one slip away against Detroit

After a big trade deadline day, Minnesota blew a one-run lead in the seventh and lost 5-3

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins second baseman Luis Arraez slides safely into third base beating the tag of Detroit Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario on Tuesday during the third inning at Target Field.
Jordan Johnson / USA Today Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins think they made a killing at Tuesday’s 5 p.m. trade deadline, acquiring starter Reds Tyler Mahle, Orioles closer Jorge Lopez, Detroit reliever Michael Fumler and veteran catcher Sandy Leon.

With those moves, the Twins believe, they’re more prepared to win the American League Central for the third time in four seasons.

“I think our club feels strong right now,” manager Rocco Baldelli said after the Twins acquired some promising pieces for reliever Yennier Cano and a large handful of prospects. “So that’s what you’re looking for going into the last couple of months of the season.”

But it’s not all seashells and balloons just yet.

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The Detroit crashed the Twins’ party late by the Detroit Tigers, using a pair of Minnesota fielding miscommunications to spark a three-run seventh and rally for a 5-3 victory in front of an announced crowd of 22,394 at Target Field.

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The Twins retained their one-game division lead on Cleveland, which to Arizona, 6-3.

Riley Greene drove in two runs for the Tigers, and Jason Foley (1-0), Andrew Chafin, Joe Jimenez and Gregory Soto each held Minnesota to two hits over four scoreless innings to help Detroit snap a three-game losing streak.

Soto pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 20th save.

Mark Contreras hit his first major league home run, and Nick Gordon drove in two runs with sacrifice flies for the Twins, who took a 3-2 lead into the seventh inning with Griffin Jax (5-3) on the mound.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins right fielder Mark Contreras reacts after hitting his first career home run on Tuesday during the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field.
Jordan Johnson / USA Today Sports

But leadoff hitter Eric Haase reached on an infield single when Jax and first baseman Jose Miranda each ran to the base and let the ball trickle past for a single. Jax struck out Willi Castro but walked the next batter, Jonathan Schoop.

Akil Badoo then grounded into the teeth of a left-handed shift but the ball slipped between Carlos Correa and Luis Arraez, each apparently believing the other would dive for it. Haase scored from second to tie the game, and Schoop put the Tigers up, 4-3, when Greene smashed a hard grounder past a drawn-in Correa.

Trevor Megill replaced Jax and immediately gave up a single to Javy Baez that plated Badoo for a 5-3 lead.

Contreras put the Twins up 1-0 when he started the third inning with his first major league home run, a line shot to right on a 1-0 pitch from Detroit starter Matt Manning.

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The Twins put their next two runners on with a single by Arraez and a walk to Correa before Jorge Polanco struck out swinging. That brought Miranda to the plate and the rookie infielder sent a grounder to third baseman Jeimer Candelario.

Instead of trying to start a double play, Candelario tried to tag out Arraez on his way to third. He missed, and the bases were loaded with one out for Nick Gordon, who sent a fly ball to shallow left. Third base coach Tommy Watkins sent Arraez, who slid just under the tag attempt by Haase to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.

At that point, Twins starter Chris Archer was dealing. He struck out two to get out of the fourth with a 2-0 lead and seven strikeouts before running into trouble in the fifth. After Archer fanned Haase to start the frame, he walked Willi Castro and gave up a run-scoring double to Jonathan Schoop to make it 2-1.

That was it for Archer, replaced by left-hander Jovani Moran. Moran got No. 9 hitter Akil Badoo to pop out to Miranda at first before leadoff hitter Riley Green stroked a double into the right field corner to score Schoop and tie the game, 2-2.

The Twins retook the lead in their half of the fifth when Correa led off with a walk, moved to third on a single by Polanco and scored on Gordon’s second sacrifice fly, this time to right field for a 3-2 lead.

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