MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Joe Mauer capped a Minnesota rally from a six-run, first-inning deficit, slapping a two-run single up the middle in the seventh to lift the Twins past the Detroit Tigers 7-6 on Sunday for their fifth straight win.
A two-out error in the inning by third baseman Carlos Guillen, who let a routine groundball hit by Nick Punto roll off his glove and through his legs, set up a four-run surge and ruined a strong start by Kenny Rogers.
Zach Miner (1-2) relieved and gave up an RBI single to Carlos Gomez and an RBI double to Brendan Harris. Then Bobby Seay came in and served up Mauer's go-ahead hit.
Matt Guerrier (2-1) earned the victory with two scoreless innings in relief of Boof Bonser, who recovered nicely after the six-run first to complete six innings with five strikeouts and no walks.
Joe Nathan picked up the save, his 11th in as many attempts, with a scoreless ninth to give the Twins a sweep of this homestand of five intradivision games. They moved into first place in the AL Central on Saturday.
Bothered by inconsistency, manager Jim Leyland promised drastic changes to the lineup beginning Monday for a home game against Boston. Though the Tigers were fourth in the league in runs entering the game, their star-stacked offense is still underperforming. One of their limitations, frustrating Leyland, has been the lack of speed and small-ball executions like hit-and-run plays.
Curtis Granderson started the game with a home run. No fundamentals necessary there. As Bonser labored through a 45-pitch first inning -- four consecutive singles followed Granderson's shot -- the Tigers built their big lead and padded it by a wild pitch that had Ivan Rodriguez struck out but allowed him to reach.
Magglio Ordonez, Guillen and Edgar Renteria each drove in runs with singles in the inning, and Mauer's short throw skipped over second base while Rodriguez was trying to steal -- allowed another one to score.
But The Tigers had only four hits after the opening frame.
Rogers, who has an 11-3 career record against the Twins, raced through the first three frames and didn't allow a baserunner until Mauer's two-out double in the fourth. He scored on a single by Morneau.
Punto's double brought home two more in the fifth, cutting the lead to 6-3.