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Twins 4, Tigers 3: Smell the Rosies

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Rosario delivers the game-winning hit early in this contest as both teams squander opportunities.

I really like these uniforms.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

After a springtime snowstorm postponed yesterday’s game, the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers finally got the series started today at Target Field in Minneapolis. It was a game of missed opportunities on both ends.

The contest started off with the teams trading zeroes for the first two innings and both starting pitchers staying perfect through both innings. The bulk of the scoring came in the third inning. Michael Pineda drew the start for the Twins today and served up a couple of singles to Grayson Greiner and Jordy Mercer. JaCoby Jones could have lined into a double-play, but the ball hit second-base umpire Chris Guccione (if that’s not Italian name, I don’t know what is), making a dead ball and loading the bases full of Tigers. A sacrifice fly by Josh Harrison and a single by Jeimer Candelario gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead before a line-out and a strikeout finished the inning.

The Twins countered with a four-spot in the bottom of the inning. Tigers starter Tyson Ross started the inning by issuing back-to-back walks to Jonathan Schoop and Jason Castro. Schoop came around to score on a Byron Buxton single to left field. Max Kepler loaded the bases again on a single to right field and Jorge Polanco was able to bring in Castro on a sacrifice fly to tie the game. However, the Twins wanted more, and Nelson Cruz took a walk to once again load the bases. Eddie Rosario hit a single through the right side and the speedy Buxton as well as Kepler were able to score and take a 4-2 lead for the home team. The inning ended on a fly ball to center field that Jones caught and threw to second, nabbing Rosario as the attempted to tag and move up.

After a couple more relatively quiet innings by both teams, the Tigers were able to put another run on the board off a massive bomb to right-center by Shannon Christin Stewart. A double, flyout, and groundout later, Pineda was able to get out of the top of the sixth with the lead intact at 4-3 in favor of the Twins. Pineda left with 6 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, and 5 K in his third start this season.

The Twins tried to come back in the bottom of the sixth after a walk by Cruz and a single by Rosario, but a pop-out, line-out, and ground-out by C.J. Cron, Marwin Gonzalez, and Schoop, respectively, ended that threat. Ross left the game after the sixth inning with 6 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, and 3 K.

Trevor Hlidenberger came on in relief for the Twins in the seventh. The speedster Jones hit a single, then promptly stole second base and was able to get to third after Castro launched the ball into center field. With the tying run on third, Hildenberger was able to get Harrison to ground out and Candelario to strike out swinging to end the threat.

Detroit countered with Drew VerHagen in relief, who ended up walking Castro and Buxton on 10 pitches. Daniel Stumpf then came in and walked Kepler, loading the bases and giving the Twins a great chance to put the game to rest. However, after a strike out by Polanco, as well as a strike out from Cruz and fly-out by Rosario ended up stopping the threat.

Taylor Rogers and Buck Farmer battled in the eighth inning, trading zeroes, and Blake Parker came in to give us a new Blake Parker Experience, walking David Gordon Beckham and throwing a wild pitch, allowing the tying run to get into scoring position. However, Parker worked his magic, freezing Jones and getting Harrison to whiff to notch another save this season.

Twins 4, Tigers 3
W: Pineda (2-0)
L: Ross (1-2)
S: Parker (3)

The Twins face the Tigers again once more in the series tomorrow with a 1:10p Central start.

Notes:

  • Tigers shortstop Jordy Mercer left the game in the fifth after injuring his quad, leaving the Tigers with no bench as Niko Goodrum and Nicholas Castellanos were unavailable off the bench today.
  • The Twins pitchers combined to allow only one walk today.
  • Twins hitters played small-ball today; all hits were singles today.

STUDS:

Eddie Rosario: 2-4, 2 RBI

Byron Buxton: 1-2, BB, RBI, R

Twins pitching staff: 10 H, HR, 3 ER, BB, 9 K

DUDS:

NO DUDS - TWINS WIN!

ROLL CALL:

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Thanks for joining us today and see you yahoos tomorrow!