Harold Castro hit starts Detroit Tigers’ winning rally vs. Minnesota Twins
By BRIAN HALL
MINNEAPOLIS — Harold Castro completed the minor league season and was home in Venezuela spending time with his son and focusing on the offseason when he got a surprise phone call to return and play with the Detroit Tigers.
Castro’s first career hit started an eighth-inning rally that led the Tigers to a 4-2 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday in a game in which Joe Mauer set the Twins’ record for reaching base.
“I was relaxing with my son,” Castro said. “I was taking time with him because of eight months here. I was eating with him when I received the call to the major leagues.”
Mauer singled in the first inning, reaching base for the 3,073rd time in his career and surpassing Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew. Mauer stood at first base and waved his hat to the home crowd after the feat was acknowledged on the Target Field video board.
“You mention Harmon and you mention Kirby (Puckett) and mention Tony (Oliva) and some of the other greats, to be up there with them is very special and humbling,” Mauer said. “It kind of really didn’t hit me until the second half. It was a nice moment.”
Detroit selected Castro’s contract from Triple-A Toledo last week and made the call to Venezuela for him to return and play the final week of the season. He made his first career start in his second game, and singled to start a four-run rally in the eighth inning for the Tigers.
Castro stole second base and scored on Nicholas Castellanos’ RBI single. Niko Goodrum added an RBI single and James McCann capped the inning with a two-run double.
“We saw him in spring training, he can pick it,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We needed an infielder desperately. Well, if we’re going to make him go through all that, he’s going to play. He’s going to get a chance to play and then, lucky for us, he got his first major league hit.”
Victor Alcantara (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless inning in relief of starter Spencer Turnbull, who allowed one run in six innings in his second major league start. Shane Greene earned his 32nd save.
Twins reliever Trevor Hildenberger (4-6) surrendered four runs and retired one batter while giving up three hits and a walk.