MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Rookie Wenceel Pérez hit a go-ahead two-out single in the ninth inning and the Detroit Tigers handed the Minnesota Twins their season-worst fifth straight loss, 5-4 on Friday night.

Pérez finished with three hits, two RBIs and two runs scored on a frigid night when temperatures hovered in the mid-30s Fahrenheit with a steady breeze. Kerry Carpenter added four hits and two RBIs for the Tigers.

With the game tied at 4-all in the ninth, Twins reliever Caleb Thielbar (0-1) got the first two outs before giving up a single to Parker Meadows. Thielbar then threw wildly on a pickoff attempt, allowing Meadows to take second. Mark Canha was intentionally walked, setting up Pérez, who drove in the decisive run with a sharp single to center.

“I thought that was my opportunity,” Pérez said. “I just tried to be patient and I got a good pitch to hit.”

The Twins, who won the AL Central last year, have lost 10 of 13 and fell to 6-12, second-worst in the AL ahead of only the division rival Chicago White Sox.

“It’s a hard game. We’ve had plenty of hard games so far in a short period of time here,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We had plenty of opportunities to get stuff going and to close out innings and play cleaner baseball.”

Detroit reliever Andrew Chaffin (2-0) retired all four batters he faced. Jason Foley worked a scoreless ninth for his sixth save. The Tigers are 6-9 since starting the season with five straight wins.

“We swung the bat well, our bullpen came in and did well, Jack Flaherty was tremendous in imperfect circumstances with the weather,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “A lot to like about these close games when you win.”

Flaherty gave up four runs - two earned - on four hits with 10 strikeouts in six innings. Minnesota's Joe Ryan gave up four runs and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings.

Flaherty's one mistake came in the first inning. Trevor Larnach, who was recalled from Triple-A St. Paul on Tuesday, hit a two-run homer to right on an 0-2 pitch, putting the Twins on top 2-1.

“It just comes down to executing,” Flaherty said. “You make some good two-strike pitches, good things happen. When you don’t, you get something like the first inning where you make a bad 0-2 pitch and the guy puts a really good swing on the ball.”

The Tigers used speed and timely hitting to score twice in the third. Meadows drew a one-out walk and stole second as Canha struck out. Pérez blooped a single to left to score Meadows. Pérez then stole second and scored on Carpenter's shift-beating single through the vacant shortstop hole.

Detroit added a run in the sixth when Pérez tripled and scored on Carpenter's third hit. But the Twins tied it in the bottom half with the help of two outfield miscues by the Tigers.

After Edouard Julien walked, Ryan Jeffers hit a flyball to short right that Pérez overran, putting runners on second and third with nobody out. Flaherty almost wiggled out of the jam, striking out Alex Kiriloff and Larnach. But on a full-count pitch, Byron Buxton hit a high fly to left that carried to the warning track, where Carpenter let it fall for a two-run double.

“Our team’s not going to pout. We’re going to play the game,” Hinch said. “We’re going to make some mistakes, and overcoming it by playing well the rest of the game really is the key.”


Tigers: 3B Gio Urshela left the game with right hamstring tightness after running out a grounder in the second inning. He walked slowly back to the dugout accompanied by a trainer and was replaced by Matt Vierling.


RHP Reese Olson (0-2, 3.86 ERA) will start for the Tigers as the series continues Saturday. Minnesota will send RHP Bailey Ober (0-1, 6.57) to the mound.


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