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Twins, Tigers split double-header: Minnesota wins big in game one, not enough pitching in game two

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Minnesota and Detroit split a double-header.

Adam Bettcher

Game One
Twins 12, Tigers 4

After scoring 20 runs on Friday night, I half expected the Twins to combine for seven runs all day on Saturday. I was wrong. Minnesota threw down a six-run second in game one, catapulting them to a 12-run performance that smothered the Tigers.

Joe Mauer opened the scoring with a single to score Brian Dozier in the first, but the second is where it went to hell in a hand basket for Detroit. Jordan Schafer tripled to empty the bases after Eduardo^2 hit back-to-back singles and Eric Fryer walked. Dozier walked, and both he and Schafer scored when Mauer's double drove him in from first. That made the game 6-1 with one out in the second, and Buck Farmer was chased. Pat McCoy couldn't get past his first hitter, as Kennys Vargas doubled to plate Mauer and end the volley of runs in the second.

Dozier doubled in a run. Vargas picked up another RBI on a sac fly, and then three more runs on a bases-clearing double in the seventh.

Vargas was 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles and five runs batted in. I think he read what I wrote yesterday. Mauer was 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, and three runs batted in. Schafer and Danny Santana notched triples. Santana, Eduardo Nunez and Eduardo Escobar joined Vargas and Mauer with a multi-hit game. But nobody homered.

Yohan Pino wasn't great. He allowed four runs (just one earned) off of six hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out six. To be fair, Dozier's throwing error in the fifth may have cost Pino his afternoon, as making that out would have given Minnesota two in the inning and Pino struck out the next batter. Instead, after the strikeout Pino allowed back-to-back-to-back singles with long enough plate appearances to keep the Twins starter from coming out for the sixth.

Ryan Pressly, Anthony Swarzak, and Caleb Thielbar combined for four scoreless innings in relief to secure the win.

Game Two
Tigers 8, Twins 6

Trevor May just needs some time. He didn't walk anyone in his start Saturday night, but he did give up 11 hits and that's what sunk him. With the Twins leading 4-3 entering the top of the sixth, May struck out J.D. Martinez but then surrendered three hits in a row - including a lead-surrendering single from Eugenio Suarez. Jared Burton relieved May and stranded Suarez, but would allow two runs of his own in the seventh.

The Twins did lead for a while. Kurt Suzuki's run-scoring single in the second was followed by RBI doubles from Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe in the third that gave Minnesota a 4-2 lead. May had a pair of 1-2-3 innings, in the first and again in the fourth which was nice to see considering his second and third frames.

Trailing 8-5 in the ninth, Brian Dozier doubled off of the embattled Joe Nathan to close the gap to 8-6 but that was everything the Twins had in the tank.

Double-Header Notes

  • Danny Santana was 4-for-9 with a triple, walk, and three runs scored. He had an error in game two, but it was far overshadowed by his performance the rest of the day. Santana is now riding an eight-game hitting streak, where he's gone 13-for-37 (.351). He's struck out 61 times and walked just 14 in 71 games, but other than that his line is impressive: .323/.360/.486 with 16 doubles, six triples, and six home runs along side 12 steals in 15 attempts.
  • Brian Dozier was 3-for-6 with four walks, five runs scored, and two runs batted in. All three of his hits were doubles. His big day comes in the midst of a slump that's seen him hit .188 in his last ten games, a stretch in which he's also walked 11 times. Dozier has actually walked 21 times this month already, trading a slump with the bat (just one home run in August, a .392 slugging percentage) for getting on base (a .396 OBP).
  • Joe Mauer was 3-for-8 with two walks, two doubles, four runs batted in, and three runs scored. Since his return, Mauer is batting .340/.456/.574 with five homers, two doubles, 11 runs batted in, and 13 walks.
  • Kennys Vargas was 3-for-9 with two doubles and six runs batted in. That's a .322/.357/.533 line in 22 games, with 23 runs batted in, 25 strikeouts, and just four walks.
  • Those were your one through four hitters in both games. They raked.
Studs

Danny Santana
Brian Dozier
Joe Mauer
Kennys Vargas
Trevor Plouffe
Eduardo Nunez

Duds

Trevor May
Jared Burton
Chris Parmelee