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MINNEAPOLIS -- That large early lead was long gone for the Detroit Tigers. They saw Kansas Citys comeback slowly unfolding on the out-of-town scoreboard. No sweat. One big swing by Torii Hunter eased the pennant-race tension. Hunter and Miguel Cabrera hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning to help the Tigers tighten their grip on the American League Central by winning their fourth straight game, 8-6 over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night. "Miggy didnt want me to have fun and celebrate too much. Before I could even get my elbow guard and my toe guard off, he hit one," Hunter said. "But all in all, it was a battle. Great win. Great game." The Tigers began the second-to-last week of the regular season with a lead of 1 1-2 games over the Royals, who rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat Chicago 4-3. The Tigers have 12 games remaining, and the Royals have 13 left. They play this weekend in Kansas City. The Tigers, who will face the last-place Twins six more times, lost a 6-0 lead they built by the fifth. But after Joe Mauers second two-run single tied the game for the Twins in the eighth inning, Hunter hit the first pitch of the ninth from Casey Fien (5-6) into the bullpen behind left-centre field. Cabrera then crushed one to the same spot two pitches later. "They know Im going to come in and attack," Fien said, "and it backfired on me." Max Scherzers 17th victory vanished when the bullpen stumbled, but just a few minutes later he was shouting in celebration in the clubhouse. "When T blasts one out there to left to give us the lead back, that gives us all the momentum. Were going to win this game," Scherzer said. "And obviously Miggy, well, thats Miggy." Kyle Ryan (2-0) earned the victory by getting pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez to ground into a double play to end the eighth, and Joakim Soria converted his first save opportunity since being acquired by the Tigers despite allowing a leadoff double. Regular closer Joe Nathan had the night off to rest. "Id rather get a lead and hold it, but that wasnt in the cards tonight," Ausmus said. "We saw that Kansas City was working its way back. We certainly wouldve loved it if Chicago could hold on, but weve got to keep our house in order." The Tigers had 16 hits, with three each by Cabrera, Andrew Romine and J.D. Martinez. Romines two-run single in the fourth, and Martinezs RBI single in the first were two of 11 hits against Twins starter Anthony Swarzak, who didnt finish the fifth inning. Scherzer breezed through 13 batters, surrendering just one single, but Oswaldo Arcia hit a towering home run in the fifth inning to get the Twins going. Mauer smacked a two-run single up the middle that zoomed past Scherzer in the sixth. Trevor Plouffe added a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 6-4. Last years AL Cy Young Award winner stopped the rally there, retiring Arcia on a called third strike. Scherzer struck out five in seven innings. Joba Chamberlain then walked two batters to start the eighth, and Danny Santana and Brian Dozier executed a double steal against Phil Coke. Mauer, after fouling off three full-count pitches, sliced a single into left field to drive in both runners and reach 50 RBIs for the season. The announced crowd of 19,700 was the smallest to see the Twins since Target Field opened in 2010. TRAINERS ROOM The Tigers held catcher Alex Avila out as a precaution after pulling him from the game on Sunday afternoon because he felt light-headed. Avila has a concussion history, but manager Brad Ausmus said Avila felt fine by night and again in the morning. He could play on Tuesday. Twins right-hander Tommy Milone had an MRI test on his stiff neck that revealed inflammation but no structural damage. General manager Terry Ryan said there is still a possibility Milone will pitch again this season. UP NEXT Rick Porcello (15-11, 3.23 ERA) pitches Tuesday for the Tigers, looking to snap a three-start losing streak. The Tigers have scored a total of four runs over those three previous turns. For the Twins, Ricky Nolasco (5-11, 5.64 ERA) will take the mound. He is winless in his last seven starts. authentic soccer jerseys sale . Vettel only needs to finish fifth or better Sunday to wrap up the championship with three races remaining, and bettered his own lap record to claim his third straight pole at Buddh International Circuit. wholesale nfl jerseys china .Y. -- A month ago, Syracuse was unbeaten, ranked No. http://www.cheapauthenticsoccerjerseys.com/.C. -- The Edmonton Oilers used a late-power-play goal to get a hard-fought road victory. wholesale authentic soccer jerseys . Subway workers in Rio de Janeiro, meanwhile, were holding an assembly to vote on whether they would strike to demand higher wages, threatening to disrupt transportation. By late Tuesday night there was no announcement of their decision. wholesale cheap nfl jerseys china outlet . -- The Oakland Raiders expect to have starting right tackle Tony Pashos back for Sundays game against the Houston Texans.EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Keith Appling put together an impressive performance after a poor one. Appling scored 16 of his career-high tying 27 points in the first half to help No. 5 Michigan State pull away and rout New Orleans 101-48 Saturday. The senior point guard, playing with a hip pointer, was held to four points on 2-for-11 shooting with just two assists in last weeks 14-point win at Texas. "I was able to get a couple of days off over Christmas break and rest up," Appling said. "That helped my body heal. Now, my hip feels 100 per cent." Appling equaled the career high in scoring he set last month against Oklahoma, a fact that didnt surprise New Orleans coach Mark Slessinger. "Being from the Midwest, Im still a Big Ten junkie and I watch Big Ten stuff," said Slessinger, who is from Bloomington, Ind. "Hes always been underrated nationally. We didnt stop him in transition and he played a very, very efficient game." Appling matched a season high with eight assists, had only one turnover and grabbed five rebounds against the Privateers. "The biggest thrill was Keith coming off one of his worst games, really bounced back," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. The Spartans (11-1) struggled for several minutes against New Orleans (3-5) before taking control with a 12-0 run midway through the first half. They led 44-27 at halftime and easily added to their comfortable cushion in the second half with 57 more points, finishing with their highest-scoring game since beating Nebraska-Omaha 110-68 two years ago. "Once we got on track, there were some bright spots," Izzo said. The Privateers had won two straight, including their previous game at UTEP. New Orleans Matt Derenbecker scored 16 and Cory Dixon had 11 points. "We took some ill-timed shots that were outside of our game plan," Slessinger said. "We wanteed to shorten the game and make it almost a little ugly and really try to work the clock and try to get the best shot we could.dddddddddddd. We got out of our comfort zone and our game plan for this game and that allowed them to make runs." Gary Harris scored 19, Adreian Payne had 17 points and Denzel Valentine had 10 points, a career-high 13 rebounds and six assists for the Spartans in their final tuneup before beginning the Big Ten season Tuesday night at Penn State. Michigan State rested starting forward Branden Dawson because of a shin bruise. "He got kicked in the shin (Friday) on a drill," Izzo said, adding he probably couldve played Saturday. The Spartans also let centre Matt Costello watch one more game even though he was cleared to play. Costello missed his fourth straight game with mononucleosis, but is expected to play a little in the conference opener. Reserve centre Kenny Kaminski will be eligible to add depth against the Nittany Lions after serving an academic-related, three-game suspension. "I like the direction were heading," Izzo said. "I just need more consistency, but when you dont get practice with everybody for three weeks, you shouldnt be totally surprised by the lack of consistency." Harris responded with a poor start against New Orleans with a solid game offensively. The sophomore shooting guard was 0 for 5 before a second straight 3-pointer capped Michigan States pivotal run that gave it a 21-10 lead. Before the burst, the Spartans had more turnovers (six) than made shots (four) against a fired-up team aiming for an upset. New Orleans, a Southland Conference school, couldnt sustain its early success and fell to 7-30 against ranked teams. "We started off kind of sluggish," Appling said. "We didnt cover things exactly to way we wanted, but the big thing is that we finished strong." ' ' '

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