DETROIT — The Twins took care of the Tigers’ pitching on Sunday, and Sonny Gray and a few relievers took care of the Tigers’ batters.
Gray held Detroit to a run on two hits and a walk over six innings, and seven Twins hitters drove in at least a run as Minnesota swept a two-game series with a 9-1 victory at Comerica Park. Twins batters combined for 23 hits in the series.
Gray (5-3) struck out seven and won for the first time since an 11-1 victory at Cleveland on June 27. He had lost his past two starts, giving up a combined 11 runs in 8⅓ innings.
Griffin Jax, Jharel Cotton and Joe Smith pitched scoreless innings for the Twins, who are 2-0 since returning from an unusual five-day all-star break and increased their American League Central lead to three games over second-place Cleveland.
As they did in Saturday’s 8-4 victory, the Twins put the pressure on Detroit from the get-go against starter Rony Garcia. Garcia (3-3) left after 2⅔ innings with right shoulder soreness and giving up three runs on two hits and three hit batters.
After Arraez started with a liner to the warning track in right field, Minnesota put six straight batters on base on singles by Carlos Correa and Jorge Polanco, a fielder’s choice that didn’t result in an out, an error and two hit batters.
Carlos Correa scored from third on Max Kepler’s weak grounder to second, hustling in to beat the tag. Alex Kirilloff followed with a hot grounder to first, which was misplayed by Harold Castro for an error, scoring Polanco. Garcia hit Nick Gordon to load the bases, then hit Jose Miranda to score Kepler for a 3-0 lead.
The Tigers got one run back in the fourth when Gray hit Javy Baez with a one-out pitch. After fanning Castro, he walked Miguel Cabrera and gave up a single that slid beneath Polanco’s glove in deep short to score Baez and make it 3-1.
The Twins broke it open with a three-run sixth off reliever Michael Fulmer. Miranda singled and scored on Gio Urshela’s double into the left field corner, and Urshela scored on a single by Luis Arraez. Arraez went to second on an errant throw home and scored on Polanco’s sharp single to right field for a 6-1 lead.
Miranda went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. He and Urshela singled to start the eighth against right-hander Alex Lange and scored on Gary Sanchez’s two-run double to left for an 8-1 lead.
Left fielder Kody Clemens pitched the ninth and gave up a run on three singles.