DETROIT (AP) — The Minnesota Twins played the Detroit Tigers with only pride at stake.
That was enough.
Jamey Carroll hit an RBI single in the 10th inning, and Minnesota beat Detroit 2-1 Sunday night, winning both games of a doubleheader to prevent the Tigers from at least tying the Chicago White Sox atop the AL Central.
"It's still fun and we're still hungry," Jared Burton said after retiring the heart of the Tigers' lineup in order in the ninth inning.
Chicago has a one-game lead in the division despite dropping its fifth in a row on Sunday, a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Detroit closer Jose Valverde (3-4) allowed pinch-hitter Denard Span to lead off the 10th inning with a single and gave up a one-out, run-scoring hit to Carroll.
Burton (2-1) entered in the ninth and got Miguel Cabrera to pop out, quieting an "M-V-P!" chant from the crowd, and struck out Prince Fielder. First baseman Justin Morneau was charged with an error for dropping a fly in foul territory, but Delmon Young couldn't take advantage and grounded out to end the inning.
Glen Perkins pitched a perfect 10th for his 14th save in 17 chances to help the fourth-place Twins win the three-game series.
"To come in in a playoff situation — whether you're playing for the playoffs or not — and take two of three from these guys is huge for us," Burton said.
Joe Mauer drove in four runs to help the Twins rally against Max Scherzer and pull away for a 10-4 win in the first game of the day-night doubleheader.
"It was a long day, and we got two nice wins. That was huge," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's a great feeling to get on a plane with."
Detroit got off to a good start in the nightcap.
Cabrera, an AL MVP and Triple Crown contender, hit his second double of the day and his 40th of the season in the home half. He gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead and moved into good company with Hank Greenberg as the only players in franchise history to have at least 40 doubles and 40 homers in a season.
Detroit's dubious defense let the Twins tie it in the fifth inning.
Starting pitcher Drew Smyly fielded a sacrifice bunt with two on, and despite having plenty of time, he sailed a throw up the right-field line that pulled second baseman Ramon Santiago off first and loaded the bases.
The Tigers had a chance to escape the fifth inning without giving up a run, but catcher Alex Avila made a wild throw toward first on what would have been an inning-ending double play — in part because Matt Carson slid into him aggressively — and Pedro Florimon scored.