The Detroit Tigers were officially eliminated from playoff contention today with their 6-2 loss to the Twins. The loss also clinched their first losing season since 2008.
Minnesota jumped out to a quick lead against Tigers’ starter Alfredo Simon (13-11) when Brian Dozier led off the game with a double to left. Joe Mauer followed with a line drive single to send Dozier to third. He scored on an error by Dixon Machado to put the Twins ahead 1-0.
The Tigers launched a rally in the fourth when Miguel Cabrera led off with a single. After Victor Martinez flied out J.D. Martinez lined a ground-rule double to left-center to put runners on second and third.
Nick Castellanos followed with a double to score Cabrera and send Martinez to third. A James McCann single tied the score at two but that was as far as the Tigers could get. The Tigers gave away the second out when Machado sacrificed McCann to second and Rajai Davis flied out to end the inning.
The Twins put the game away in the seventh when Aaron Hicks followed a Torii Hunter walk with a single to right. Kurt Suzuki singled to score Hunter. Hicks stole third and scored on a force out by Escober to make the score 4-2.
Simon pitched eight innings, allowing eight hits and striking out four. Kyle Lobstein came on to pitch the ninth and gave up a two-run home run to Escobar to close the scoring.
Tyler Duffy (5-1) started and pitched six innings for the Twins to get the win.
In a surprise announcement before the game, Tigers general manager Al Avila announced that Brad Ausmus and his entire coaching staff would be retained for the 2016 season. This news ended two speculation that Ausmus was on his way out the door once the season ended on October 4.
Avila pointed out Ausmus’ talents in developing the young players on the team and keeping the respect and backing of the veterans. That backing has been demonstrated over the past couple of weeks by the Tigers continued effort to finish 2015 strong and by their universal support for Ausmus in the decision to send Bruce Rondon home for the remainder of the season.