DETROIT (AP) - Glen Perkins went against his better judgment and threw Detroit's Brandon Inge a fastball with two outs in the ninth inning.
He should've stuck with his first instinct.
Perkins went with catcher Drew Butera's opinion, and Inge hit a 2-1 pitch into the left-field stands to give the Tigers a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.
``I should have thrown him another slider,' Perkins said. ``Drew called for a fastball, but I should have shaken him off. The pitch I threw him was the only one he could have hit out.'
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire agreed.
``He made one bad pitch - he threw a fastball up, middle in,' Gardenhire said. ``Brandon was looking for a fastball, trying to do one thing, and he did it.'
Inge has only hit three homers this season. The others were another game-ender on April 13 against Texas and a shot in his first at-bat with the Tigers after a monthlong exile to Triple-A Toledo.
``I love situations like that, where you know that if you get the right result, it is going to be spectacular, especially with these fans in Detroit,' Inge said. ``But trust me, if I could do that on command, I wouldn't be hitting .194.'
After Perkins (4-4) retired the first two batters, Inge's homer gave Detroit its eighth straight victory.
``I was just looking for something up in the zone that I could drive,' he said. ``Ever since I've gotten back from Toledo, my swing might look a little weird, but I'm just trying to hit everything hard. As soon as I got that one, I knew it was gone. That's a great feeling.'
Al Alburquerque (6-1) earned the victory with a perfect ninth inning.
Detroit starter Max Scherzer allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings. Twins counterpart Anthony Swarzak gave up a pair of runs and four hits in six innings.
``It was a well-pitched game on both sides,' Gardenhire said. ``Swarzy was fantastic, and Scherzer was good. We just failed to execute a few times, and it cost us.'
The Tigers took a third-inning lead on Wilson Betemit's seventh homer, but the Twins tied it 1-1 in the fourth on Joe Mauer's third home run.
Detroit went back in front in the fourth when Andy Dirks led off with a double, took third on Miguel Cabrera's one-out groundout and scored on Victor Martinez's RBI single.
Scherzer held the one-run lead until the sixth, when Trevor Plouffe drew a walk, moved to third on Mauer's base hit. Austin Jackson then made a spectacular leaping catch of Danny Valencia's drive to deep center, but Plouffe easily scored from third on the play.
NOTES: The game, which drew 38,567 fans, was Star Wars Night at Comerica Park. Before the game, with numerous costumed characters on the field, Plouffe came out of the Minnesota dugout and rubbed his bat on Darth Vader's helmet. The apparent attempt at good luck didn't work though, as Plouffe struck out in his first two at_bats. ... The teams complete the series on Sunday with Doug Fister (7-13) pitching for the Tigers against Minnesota's Scott Diamond (1-3). ... Inge entered the game in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement for Betemit.
The Associated Press News Service
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