MINNEAPOLIS — Ryan Doumit had four RBI, including a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth inning, to help the Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 4-2 on Friday. The loss cut the Tigers’ lead over the White Sox in the American League Central to one game.
‘‘Nothing comes easy for us, it seems like,’’ Tigers catcher Gerald Laird said. ‘‘We knew the White Sox weren’t going to go away.’’
Tigers left-hander Drew Smyly allowed two hits and struck out five in 51/3 scoreless innings in a fill-in start for injured right-hander Max Scherzer (shoulder fatigue), but losing pitcher Brayan Villarreal (3-5) walked three to load the bases in the eighth before Doumit’s one-out double put the Twins in front.
‘‘Villarreal just didn’t have it,’’ Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ‘‘We got beat.’’
Doumit made the Tigers pay for an error by first baseman Prince Fielder in the seventh, following with a home run against Phil Coke to gave the Twins a 2-0 lead.
Omar Infante’s two-run homer spoiled Twins starter Scott Diamond’s bid for a shutout in the eighth and tied the score at 2, but Glen Perkins worked a perfect ninth for his 16th save after Doumit had restored the Twins’ lead.
Triple Crown candidate Miguel Cabrera had two hits for the Tigers to raise his league-leading average to .327, but he was thrown out at the plate to end the sixth.
Cabrera sent a screaming line drive to right field that he thought would be a homer in the sixth. The ball hit the wall, though, and Ben Revere fired a perfect one-hopper to second to keep Cabrera at first.
Fielder followed with a single, and Cabrera appeared to be upset with himself when he reached second, wondering whether he could have had a double had he hustled out of the batter’s box.
Delmon Young singled to right after that, and Cabrera appeared determined to give the Tigers their first run. But Revere’s throw again was strong, beating Cabrera to the plate to end the inning.