This game was loooooong.
Adalberto Mejia continued to show that his place in the rotation may be short-lived as he once again struggled. Though he got through the first inning with a walk and three strikeouts, he ran into trouble in the second. His control deserted him as it had in his prior two starts when he had two more walks, but he was able to hold the Tigers to just one run despite loading the bases.
The Twins answered with two runs in the bottom of the second, though those runs likely should have never happened as with two runners on, Jorge Polanco skied a popup between home plate and first base. First baseman John Hicks had trouble seeing the ball in the sun and missed catching it, and Polanco followed on the very next pitch with a two-run double to left.
Mejia struggled again in the third by allowing two home runs and was ultimately lifted for Justin Haley, who unfortunately hit JaCoby Jones in the face with a pitch. That led to Tigers starter Matthew Boyd throwing at Miguel Sano in the 5th, which led to both Boyd and Sano getting ejected as the benches cleared. myjah will have more details on the incident in another post.
Coincidentally, after Sano was replaced by Joe Mauer and Boyd with Blaine Hardy, Mauer doubled to center field and was subsequently brought home on a Robbie Grossman single, tying the game at 3. However, in the 6th, Paul Molitor made the questionable decision to have lefty Craig Breslow face righty Nicholas Castellanos, who hit an RBI double that gave the Tigers the go-ahead run. They would tack on another run on a sacrifice fly against Tyler Duffey.
Despite the deficit, the Twins still mounted a rally in the 9th. Jason Castro, pinch-hitting for Byron Buxton, hit a home run over the right-center field fence off Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez to bring the Twins within one and was followed by a single from Brian Dozier. Then, Polanco nearly ended the game with a game-winning home run, but his drive died on the right field warning track. This brought up Mauer, who was able to work a full count but ultimately struck out to end the game.
WP: Blaine Hardy (1-0)
LP: Michael Tonkin (0-1)
S: Francisco Rodriguez (6)
Brian Dozier (2-for-4, BB, R), Robbie Grossman (1-for-3, BB, RBI)
Chris Gimenez (0-for-4, K), Adalberto Mejia (2 2⁄3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 6 K), Paul Molitor (bad decision to have Breslow face Castellanos when Duffey and Belisle were still in the bullpen)
|8||less cowbell, more 'neau||23|