Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers looked to bounce back from what was possibly their most frustrating loss of the season and did nothing of the sort, getting thoroughly embarrassed in a 20-6 loss in game of four against divisional rival Minnesota Twins. Robbie Ray started for the Tigers with Anibal Sanchez on the DL and a doubleheader on Saturday. Ray got through the first inning without giving up a run, but was hurt by a double to lead off the second. The double debatably should have been a single, E5, as Kenny Vargas should have been thrown out at second trying to extend a single, but Ian Kinsler was unable to hold onto the ball to apply the tag. Things got worse with RBI doubles following off the bats of Oswaldo Arcia and Trevor Plouffe. Kurt Suzuki struck out, and then Eduardo Escobar hit a two run homer to give the Twins a 4-1 lead. Jordan Schafer then singled and Danny Santana hit a home run to extend the lead to 6-1.
Hardy took over for Ray with one out in the second inning and gave up a walk to Brian Dozier and a single to Joe Mauer before getting out of the inning. He pitched to and retired the first two batters of the third, before giving up a single to Escobar and being removed in favor of Phil Coke. Coke came in and issued a walk to Schafer but then retired the next five batters he faced in a row. Jim Johnson relieved Coke with one out in the fifth, and closed out the inning.
Johnson was back out for the sixth and loaded the bases with no one out before giving up a an RBI single to Dozier and being replaced by Ian Krol. Krol immediately gave up a two run single to Joe Mauer to rebuild the Twins’ lead. Krol then issued a walk to reload the bases with no outs. At this point, the wheels really fell off and over the next two innings, the Twins added run after run until the Tigers were down by a score of 20-6. Andrew Romine pitched for the first time in his career.
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The Detroit Tigers offense started out encouragingly with a lead off home run in the first by Ian Kinsler, giving the Tigers a lead. Victor Martinez singled later in the inning, but was stranded. The Tigers had scoring opportunities in the third and the fourth innings, but were unable to capitalize and gain any ground back against the Twins. That changed in the fifth inning, with Torii Hunter reaching on an error with one out. Miguel Cabrera singled to advance Hunter and Martinez followed that with another single, scoring Hunter. J.D. Martinez continued the scoring with an RBI double that scored Cabrera and moved Victor to third. Nick Castellanos notched an RBI single, which was followed by a single off the bat of Eugenio Suarez to load the bases. Bryan Holaday came up just inches short of a grand slam, but ended up with an RBI sacrifice fly to bring the Detroit Tigers back within one run.
The Tigers bats started off where they left off in the top of the sixth, with Kinsler singling and then stealing second. A wild pitch during Miguel Cabrera‘s at bat advanced Kinsler to third and Cabrera was intentionally walked to put runners at the corners with one out for Victor Martinez. Martinez ground into a double play, ending the inning and stranding the tying run at third base. The offense wasn’t heard from again after the Twins blew the doors open in the bottom of the sixth.
The Tigers and the Twins face off in a day-night double header tomorrow at Target Field, with the first game starting at 1:10pm and the second at 8:10pm.