Baseball

Detroit's lead sliced to one

Minnesota cut Detroit's AL Central lead to one game Friday night, beating Kansas City while the Tigers lost to Chicago's White Sox.

Both teams have two games remaining.

Twins 10, Royals 7 — Jeff Manship's first major-league win was well-timed for Minnesota, which got a grand slam from Delmon Young.

The Twins and Tigers each have two games remaining.

Young had five RBIs, beginning with his first career slam in the first inning against Lenny DiNardo (0-3) that launched the Twins to their 14th win in their last 18 games.

Zack Greinke's up next for Minnesota today.

The Royals rallyied to put the tying run at the plate in the eighth after falling behind 10-0.

Following Mitch Maier's two-run single off Jose Mijares that reduced Minnesota's lead to 10-7, Matt Guerrier got the last two outs of the inning, and Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 46th save.

Manship (1-1) was charged with four runs (three earned) in 5 1/3 innings, pitching better than his line looked. Striking out four, the rookie right-hander was hurt by a passed ball by catcher Joe Mauer and a handful of soft singles.

Young gave him plenty of help, hitting his first career slam for his 10th homer of the season. It's been a second straight year of inconsistency and light power production from Young, the former first overall pick in the draft, but he has also had another decent second half.

Last year, the Royals won two out of three here on the season's final weekend to force the Twins into a tiebreaker game they lost to the White Sox.

To keep this going, the Twins must beat Greinke, widely considered the AL Cy Young Award favorite with his 16-8 record and 2.06 ERA for the 95-loss Royals.

Last weekend in Kansas City, Greinke topped Francisco Liriano and the Twins 4-1 with seven tough innings. Liriano's failure in that game forced Manship, who had pitched his way out of the rotation, back in.

White Sox 8, Tigers 0 — Jake Peavy's pitching for Chicago delayed Detroit's chance to move closer to the AL Central division title.

The Tigers, who couldn't take advantage of an opportunity Thursday to win the division with a win over Minnesota, heard a smattering of boos during their series opener against the White Sox.

"For the last day or so, they've been disappointed," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "Most people when they're disappointed, they express their disappointment in the form of boos. There's nothing wrong with that."

The Tigers but got off to a bad start when Scott Podsednik hit a leadoff home run and wound up losing for the fourth time in six games.

Peavy (3-0) pitched eight scoreless innings and Carlos Quentin also homered. Out for three months because of an injured right ankle, Peavy gave up just two hits and showed the form he had as the 2007 NL Cy Young winner.

"I still don't feel 100 percent," Peavy insisted.

Edwin Jackson (13-9) gave up a career-high eight runs and seven hits over five-plus innings.

"The one thing you have to have when you pitch against a guy like Peavy, your pitcher has to pitch good," Leyland said. "(Jackson) just made way too many bad pitches in the middle of the plate."

If the Tigers fail to hold off Minnesota, they will become the first team in major league history to lead a division on May 10 and stay atop it until losing the title in the last week of a season.

Detroit still has an opportunity, though, to win the AL Central without any help from the last-place Royals. With a magic number of two, the Tigers can wrap up the division by beating the White Sox the next two days.

"We're just trying to win theses games," White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "We don't have a vendetta or anything because it's Detroit or Minnesota."

The Tigers are set to start Alfredo Figaro (2-1) tonight against Freddy Garcia (2-4) and the White Sox.

"I know it's an important game," the 25-year-old Figaro said quietly on the eve of the third start in his career. "I'm not nervous. I'm a little bit excited."

If the Tigers need to win Sunday to clinch the division, they plan to put Justin Verlander (18-9) on the mound against John Danks (13-10).

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