The Detroit Tigers needed a strong and effective start from their ace after a long weekend for the pitching staff. They did not get that on Sunday, but the bats stayed hot, as they were all weekend, and the Tigers earned a split in the elongated four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The final score was 13-4.
Prior to last night’s second half of the doubleheader, the Tigers were probably about as low as they had been in some time. They had been beaten and battered through two games by a collective score of 32-10. While it certainly was not pretty, Detroit made the best of the situation by winning the last two games to earn a series split.
In the process, they were able to pull back to within two games of the first place Kansas City Royals, who lost today to the Texas Rangers.
Max Scherzer looked good early. He set Minnesota down in order through the first two innings, so when the Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning, everyone had to like their chances.
The Tigers tallied those runs with singles from Eugenio Suarez, Ian Kinsler, and Torii Hunter. With Miguel Cabrera getting a rest Sunday, Victor Martinez was next up and bounced to second baseman Brian Dozier, who threw the ball wide, allowing Hunter to slid in safely to score the third run.
Scherzer labored through five innings, though he kept the score tied and was in line for the win after exiting. He allowed seven hits, a walk, three runs and struck out only four batters. Al Alburquerque, Phil Coke, Jim Johnson, and Pat McCoy pitched in relief for the Tigers.
The 3-all tie was broken in the fifth inning when Hunter scored on a force out. Later in the inning, V-Mart hit a long two-run home run to center to push the Tigers to a 7-3 lead. One inning later, Rajai Davis added his seventh round-tripper of the year, a two-run shot, to give the Tigers a six-run cushion at 9-3.
The Twins answered back with one run off Coke in the seventh inning, but the Tigers put all suspense in the game to an end by plating four runs in the eighth inning.
The Tigers will take a day off on Monday before opening up a short three-game homestand against the New York Yankees on Tuesday. Rick Porcello (14-8, 3.10) will look to pick up where he left off in his last outing, a complete game shutout, when he faces Brandon McCarthy (8-12, 4.01) at 7:08.