Prince Fielder hit a two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning, and it was enough to carry the Tigers over the Twins on a day where pitching dominated.
Anibal Sanchez pitch 6 1/3 innings for the Tigers, allowing just one run while striking out four.
The Tigers had trouble getting to Liam Hendriks, who shut their bats down for seven innings.
Austin Jackson led off the eighth inning with a single before Quintin Berry and Miguel Cabrera both failed to move him over or get a hit.
That’s when Prince went deep.
Octavio Dotel and Jose Valverde came in for the eighth and ninth innings to close the door on the Twins.
The Tigers now lead the Chicago White Sox by 2 1/2 games with three left to play.
The Sox, who are desperately trying to catch the Tigers in the American League Central, trail the Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 in the eighth inning of their game in Chicago.