Kelly has grand slam as Tigers hit 4 homers, 3 triples in rout of Twins for Montero's 1st win

Keider Montero
Posted at 12:03 AM, Jul 04, 2024

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Carson Kelly hit a grand slam and Wenceel Pérez followed with a home run to back Keider Montero’s first major league win as the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 9-2 on Wednesday night.

Riley Greene and Matt Vierling hit two-run homers, and Greene, Colt Keith and Akil Baddoo tripled for the Tigers, who had lost five of six.

Kelly's homer, his sixth of the season and fourth in 10 games, came on a 1-0 fastball from David Festa (1-1) in the third and put Detroit ahead 4-0. Pérez homered on the next pitch, a changeup.

Kelly entered hitting .300 with two doubles, a triple, four home runs and 15 RBIs in his previous 24 games.

“He’s swung the bat very well," Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said. "When I DH’ed him the other day and he homered in the five-hole, he told me hits better in the middle of the order. He was tongue-in-cheek, but maybe I might take him seriously.”

Montero (1-2) a 23-year-old right-hander, allowed two runs, six hits and a walk over 6 1/3 innings in his third major league appearance and second start. He was recalled from Triple-A Toledo before the game.

“It felt very good," Montero said through interpreter Carlos Guillén. "Everything that I did is part of the process. I always believed today is part of the process and in the end, it’s going to show some results. But the most important part of it is, I was able to help this team to get a win and get the back of my teammates.”

Festa (1-1), making his second major league start and first in Target Field, gave up seven runs and nine hits in five innings. He allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings at Arizona in his debut on June 27 and has a 10.80 ERA.

“I felt great,” said Festa, considered the team's top pitching prospect. "The results, the box score doesn’t show that, but I feel like I was confident out there. The nerves are fine. Like I said, just a frustrating result.

Brooks Lee, the No. 13 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was 2 for 4 with an RBI for Minnesota in his major league debut. Lee singled off Montero in the fourth for his first hit and drove in Byron Buxton in the seventh with an RBI single. The Twins selected his contract from Triple-A St. Paul and put third baseman Royce Lewis on the 10-day injured list with a right adductor strain.

“I felt pretty calm,” Lee said of his first at-bat. “It’s actually uncharacteristic of me to take pitches. It was cool. But I got it out of the way. I came up and was like, ‘If I get a fastball, I’m going to do some damage and sure enough I did.’”

Christian Vázquez hit a solo homer for the Twins, who have homered in a team-record 21 straight games. The streak is the second longest in the major leagues behind Baltimore’s 22 from June 1-23.


Tigers: Montero was recalled from Triple-A Toledo and RHP Casey Mize was put on the 15-day IL with a left hamstring strain. … Hinch said SS Javier Báez (lumbar spine inflammation) was feeling good after starting a rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday. Báez was the designated hitter and went 1 for 2 with a walk. He played shortstop for six innings Wednesday and went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts and was to have a planned day off on Thursday.

Twins: The team doesn’t think Lewis' injury is as severe as the torn quadriceps that caused him to miss 58 games this season. He will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break. ... RHP Brock Stewart (right shoulder tendinitis) was transferred to the 60-day IL.


Former Twin Kenta Maeda (2-4, 5.76 ERA) is scheduled to start Wednesday for Detroit in a game that was pushed up an hour to 12:10 p.m. CDT due to rain in the forecast. Minnesota will start Bailey Ober (7-4, 4.30).