DETROIT – Ian Miller has been with the Twins for more than three weeks, which is a long time to wait to play an entire game. He finally got his chance on Thursday, and he will never forget it.
Miller, leading off the Twins’ hangover-day lineup just 14 hours after the Twins clinched the AL Central championship, lined two singles in five at-bats and helped the makeshift lineup finish off a sweep of the Tigers with a 10-4 victory at Comerica Park.
“I put a little pressure on myself to really try to get a hit, but I came here to play some defense and run a little bit,” said Miller, who had been 0-for-5 in a handful of late-inning appearances since joining the Twins on Sept. 1. “Every at-bat is just an extra that I wasn’t expecting. I’m just grateful to be here.”
Devin Smeltzer gave up three runs over five innings, and four relievers pitched an inning apiece as the Twins moved within one victory of its second 100-win season in franchise history. A sweep of the Royals over the weekend would allow this year’s Twins to tie the 1965 team with 102 victories.
Jonathan Schoop, the designated hitter for the day, hit a high fly ball that just reached the bullpens in the seventh inning, making the Twins the first team ever to hit 300 home runs in a season.
“It’s not only me, I cannot take the credit. I cannot hit 300 home runs by myself,” Schoop said. “I’m lucky enough to hit the 300th home run, but it’s all teamwork.”
Willians Astudillo also homered, and the Twins beat Detroit for the 14th time in 19 games this season. They also dropped Detroit starter Jordan Zimmermann to 1-13 on the season.