When the Tigers picked away at Ricky Nolasco early, there was the feeling in the air was familiar. Even after the big seven-run third on Saturday, Detroit continued to push across a run or two in almost every inning thereafter. And when doubles from Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez put the Tigers up 1-0 in the first, and when Austin Jackson scored easily after a lead-off triple in the second, well, it's hard to not feel like it's happening all over again.
But then Nolasco settled down a bit and strung together three scoreless innings. The Twins offense eventually responded, starting with Joe Mauer's ground rule double in the sixth. With Mauer on second and two outs, Minnesota strung together four plate appearances in a row where the batter reached safely.
Josh Willingham stroked a double into the corner to score Mauer. Kendrys Morales' grounder found a hole up the middle to tie the game. Oswaldo Arcia, who let the Tigers get into scoring position in the first when he lost the ball in the sun, walked on five pitches. Kurt Suzuki lined a single into left, and Morales - WHO WAS FOR SOME REASON WAVED HOME - scored only because Alex Avila muffed a perfectly good throw from J.D. Martinez. The Twins took the lead, 3-2.
Nolasco gave up the lead almost immediately. Nick Castellanos' one-out double scored Martinez to tie it up, and Gardy lifted Nolasco after intentionally walking Avila to load the bases. Enter: Jared Burton.
Burton, we all know, is disintegrating. We know the velocity is down, we know the command is off, and the numbers speak for themselves. The bullpen was taxed after yesterday, however, and somebody needed to get the outs. The embattled Burton got two outs, leaving the bases full of Tigers.
The seventh wasn't any better. Burton surrendered back-to-back one out walks before Gardy turned to Matt Guerrier. Guerrier, pretty quickly, induced a pop out and then struck out Jackson to hold the score at three.
In the end it wasn't the pitching that caused the Twins the game. It was the defense. With one out and a runner on first, Arcia bungled another opportunity for an easy out in right field. Instead of two outs with a runner on first it was one out with runners on the corners. J.D. Martinez lined out to Sam Fuld, whose throw was too far up the line for a play at the plate.
With that Detroit takes the series with a 4-3 win. The Twins are now five games back.
|6||less cowbell, more 'neau||9|
|12||Luke in MN||3|
Win Expectancy Graph