The Tigers have one of the worst bullpens in the major leagues. No relief corps is worse at striking out hitters or better at surrendering homers. Nevertheless, five Tiger relievers took the mound today, and successfully kept the Minnesota Twins at bay to even the series at a game apiece.
Buck Farmer pitched a pair of innings to open the game, striking out four and allowing a run on a Jorge Polanco double. After he was done for the day, Detroit got themselves in the run column with a two-out rally in the second. A single, walk, and three-run homer from JaCoby Jones would give the Tigers a two-run lead.
C.J. Cron would bring the Twins back within a run, knocking an RBI single in the third, but Marwin Gonzalez grounded into a threat-dissolving double play to retire the side. Christin Stewart got the run back in the home half with a leadoff dinger.
Kyle Gibson would allow one more run on a fifth-inning single. Despite striking out eight, two homers and five runs on eight hits would make the fifth his last inning. He was spelled by Ryan Eades, whose major-league debut included two shutout innings and three strikeouts.
The scoring was quiet until the eighth. Nelson Cruz led off the inning with a homer that brought Minnesota within two runs. Down a pair, Matt Magill would be tasked with keeping it close in the home eighth.
It was not Matt’s day.
Magill walked his first man, served up a two-run homer to JaCoby “Again?” Jones, then gave up a double. After setting down the next two batters, he then allowed three straight two-out hits, hit a guy to load the bases, and finally ended the beatdown with a strikeout. When it was all said and done, Detroit had jumped out to a six-run lead.
The side was set down in order in the top of the ninth, and the Twins dropped the second game of the series to the Beisbolcats.
Thankfully, it’s not the end of the world — nowhere near, in fact. Tomorrow afternoon, the Twins will have the opportunity to win yet another series and head back home with some wind in their sails.
DH Nelson Cruz (2-for-3, R, HR, RBI, BB)
RP Ryan Eades (2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K)
LF Marwin Gonzalez (0-for-4, 4 LOB)
3B Miguel Sano (0-for-4, 3 K)
2B Jonathan Schoop (0-for-4)
SP Kyle Gibson (5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 2 HR)
RP Matt Magill (1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, BB, 2 K)
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