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Tigers 6, Twins 3: Twins Fumble Chances Away

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Once again, a loss that wasn't pretty.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Welp. Yet another loss that was actually more of a blowout than the score suggests. The Tigers chipped away at the Twins constantly throughout the first half of the game, building a 5-0 lead as they knocked Ricky Nolasco out after just five innings. However, it wasn't entirely Nolasco's fault as the Twins defense behind him absolutely suffered.

In the first inning, leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler reached second base thanks to a throwing error from shortstop Eduardo Nunez. Kinsler was followed by an RBI single by J.D. Martinez as the Tigers quickly took the lead. In the third, the Tigers added two more runs on a triple by Martinez and a sacrifice fly from Miguel Cabrera, followed later by a Nick Castellanos double and bloop RBI single by Justin Upton. Though there was no play at home as Castellanos scored easily, right fielder Miguel Sano nonetheless contributed to the ugliness as he overran the ball, allowing Upton to advance to second on the Twins' second error.

In the fourth, it was Nolasco's turn to commit a miscue as he had a throwing error on a pickoff throw to first base with Cameron Maybin on board. The error allowed Maybin to advance to third, who then scored several batters later on a yet another RBI single, this time from Kinsler.

The Tigers did add single runs in the sixth and seventh innings of reliever Taylor Rogers, and the Twins offense finally came to life against Justin Verlander in the late innings. With the bases loaded in the 7th and one out, Danny Santana hit a sacrifice fly to finally put the Twins on the board. Even though Rosario swiped third base during the next at-bat (see the note below), Joe Mauer struck out to end the threat.

The Twins did put together another rally in the eighth, however. With Verlander still pitching, Eduardo Nunez led off with a double. Following a Sano fly out, Byung Ho Park walked. This ended Verlander's day as Alex Wilson relieved him, who promptly kicked off his afternoon with a wild pitch to advance the baserunners. Trevor Plouffe brought in Nunez and Park with a 2-run single, and then Brian Dozier nearly cut the deficit to one when he sent a line drive down the left field line. Despite a request to review the play from Paul Molitor, the umpires confirmed that the drive was a foul ball, and Dozier eventually struck out. The ninth went one-two-three against Francisco Rodriguez and the Twins were swept yet again by an opposing club.

WP: Justin Verlander (3-4)

LP: Ricky Nolasco (1-2)

S: Francisco Rodriguez (11)

Note: With Eddie Rosario on second base and Joe Mauer batting with two outs in the seventh inning during a 5-1 deficit, Rosario noticed that Castellanos was playing far off the third base bag and attempted a steal while Verlander was on the mound. Castellanos was late covering the base and Rosario successfully stole the base. However, the gamble earned Rosario a seat on the bench as he was replaced with Darin Mastroianni to start the bottom of the seventh. After the game, Paul Molitor mentioned that the risk on Rosario's steal vastly outweighed the reward. I'm split on whether I agree - it was certainly one of those plays where he looks like a genius if it works and he looks ridiculous if it fails. In addition, Molitor was displeased that Rosario missed the cutoff man on J.D. Martinez's RBI single in the first inning, allowing Martinez to advance to second base. It sounds a bit like Molitor may be a little fed up with Rosario right now.