MINNEAPOLIS -- Jorge Polanco had five hits, including a leadoff home run and a game-tying single in the seventh inning, as the Twins rallied for a 3-2 victory over Detroit to sweep a doubleheader from the Tigers on Friday at Target Field.
Polanco and Josh Donaldson hit consecutive home runs in the first inning, and Randy Dobnak scattered four singles in five scoreless innings as the Twins won the first game, 2-0.
Minnesota has won five straight games after a six-game losing skid and pulled within a half-game of Cleveland in the American League Central pending the Indians’ night game against Milwaukee.
Willians Astudillo, recalled as the 29th man on the expanded doubleheader roster, scored the winning run on Marwin Gonzalez’s singled to center after starting the eighth inning on second base.
Sergio Romo (1-1) earned the victory with a scoreless seventh, and Trevor May retired all three hitters he faced in the eighth for second save.
The Tigers took a 2-1 lead into the seventh inning but Gregory Soto walked the first two batters, including pinch-hitter Donaldson, and gave up a sharp run-scoring single to Polanco that tied the game 2-2. Jose Cisnero relieved and struck out Miguel Sano and Nelson Cruz before pinch-hitter Willians Astudillo lined out to second.
Matt Wisler, who earned his second major league save on Tuesday against the White Sox, made his fourth bullpen start for the Twins and pitched two scoreless innings.
Sean Poppen retired the first two batters in the third inning before leadoff hitter Victor Reyes singled to center. Reyes scored from first when Jonathan Schoop dropped a liner just out of the reach of a diving Rooker in right field and raced to third for a triple.
Schoop then scored on Cabrera’s oppositie-field single to right for a 2-1 lead.
The Twins, officially the visiting team in a make-up game canceled in Detroit by rain, opened the scoring in the third when Rooker — promoted Friday morning from the Twins’ minor-league camp in St. Paul — singled sharply to left field, bringing Polanco in from second in the top of the third inning.
That left runners at first and second for left fielder Eddie Rosario, but he flied out to left to end the inning. The Twins managed only three more base-runners the rest of the way on singles by Polanco, Byron Buxton and Marwin Gonzalez.
Polanco and Donaldson started the Twins’ first win with consecutive home runs, and starter Randy Dobnak scattered four singles in five innings as Minnesota beat the Detroit Tigers, 2-0, in the first game.
Dobnak (6-2) struck out four, walked one and coaxed the Tigers into two double-plays as he lowered his earned-run average to 2.72. Taylor Rogers pitched the seven for his team-leading eighth save.
Polanco started the Twins first with a home run just over the wall in left-center, the first leadoff home run of his career. Donaldson followed with a blast to center that landed in the seats above the batter’s eye. His second home run of the season traveled an estimated 441 feet.
“I feel like I hit it well,” he said.
It was the third time this season that Detroit starter Matthew Boyd (1-5) has given up consecutive home runs to start a game. He rallied to finish an otherwise strong outing, striking out eight Twins batters.
“Part of that, too, is Boyd’s a pretty good pitcher,” Donaldson said. “He’s not a slouch out there; he throws some pretty good pitches.”
Jeimer Candelario started the Tigers’ seventh with a single to left off Rogers and advanced to second on a wild pitch. But pinch-hitter Jorge Bonifacio grounded out to short, and catcher Austin Romine grounded out to third before Rogers fanned Isaac Paredes for the final out.
In his previous start, an 8-2 loss at Detroit on Aug. 29, Dobnak gave up six earned runs on 12 hits and two walks in 4.1 innings.
“Overall, I think I got ahead more today than I did last time,” he said. “Still not as much as I would like to be ahead early on with guys. Overall, we had the same game plan for today that we had last time, different results.”