Twins take control in late innings, beat Tigers 6-2
Detroit — Not that it seemed to matter as much as a certain news event pertaining to the team’s manager, but the Tigers played baseball Saturday night at Comerica Park.
And, in keeping with a season that hasn’t stuck to an initial script, the Tigers lost, 6-2, to the Twins at Comerica Park, a loss that mathematically eliminated them from playoff contention.
The Tigers had 10 hits, but only two — doubles by J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos —were for extra bases.
The Twins simply were more resourceful Saturday with their 10 hits.
Eight of those came against Tigers starter Alfredo Simon, who pitched eight generally strong innings. And they were very efficient with two hits in the ninth, a single, and Eduardo Escobar’s two-run homer to left field against Tigers reliever Kyle Lobstein.
Simon’s main problem Saturday was allowing a pair of runs in the seventh that broke a 2-2 tie. The Twins got them on a walk, two singles, and a fielder’s choice grounder that nearly became a 3-6-3, inning-ending double play but instead produced Minnesota’s fourth run.
The Tigers had a chance to tie the game, or potentially take the lead, in the eighth when singles by Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez put runners at second and first with one out.
But after J.D. Martinez took an outside fastball for a strike that clearly should have been ball three, he struck out against reliever Trevor May.
Nick Castellanos then lined out to right to end the Tigers’ last good chance to turn around Saturday’s contest, which drew a crowd (tickets sold) of 32,753.
The Tigers scored a pair of runs in the fourth on a single by Cabrera, back-to-back doubles by Martinez and Castellanos, and James McCann’s single to center.
The Tigers were trying to make their manager, Brad Ausmus, a winner a few hours after general manager Al Avila affirmed Ausmus would return for the 2016 season.
The two teams will meet again Sunday (1:08 p.m.) in the final home game of the season at Comerica Park.