The Detroit Tigers opened their second series of the season against the Minnesota Twins tonight at Comerica Park and were shut out. Drew Smyly(L, 3.58 ERA) started for the Tigers. Smyly still had a bit of location and control issues early on, giving up a hit and couple of walks in the first two innings before giving up a lead off home run to Eduardo Escobar in the third. Smyly followed the homer by loading the bases with two walks and a single and one out, but was able to pitch out of the jam without allowing any additional damage. Drew helped his pitch count out by following with one-two-three fifth and sixth innings. Smyly pitched himself into and out of jams, but had a solid quality start. His line: 6IP, 4H, 1R/ER, 3BB, 2K.
Joba Chamberlain was sharp in the eight, retiring the side in order.
Joe Nathan came in to pitch the ninth, down a run. The lead off batter Josh Willingham reached on an error to Eugenio Suarez, who replaced Romine in the eighth inning. He then retired the next two batters before loading the bases by walking Trevor Plouffe and hitting Eduardo Nunez. He then walked in a run and was replaced by Phil Coke. Coke struck out Danny Santana with the bases still loaded to stop the damage at one run.
The Tigers’ hitters had a hard time against Minnesota Twins starter Kyle Gibson, with a walk and two hits through four. Alex Avila led off the bottom of the fifth with the Tigers’ third hit of the night and was moved to second base on a an infield single by Andrew Romine, giving the Tigers’ two on with no one out, by far their best scoring chance of the game. Ian Kinsler, who walked in third inning, laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners into scoring position and Austin Jackson walked to load the bases for Miguel Cabrera, but Miggy couldn’t come through this time and ground into a double play.
Alex Avila doubled with one out in the seventh and was replaced with pinch runner Rajai Davis, but even with the additional speed, he Tigers were unable to put a run on the board.
The Tigers play the Twin tomorrow at 4:08pm at Comerica Park.