FINAL: TIGERS 10, TWINS 8
The Tigers were on the verge of an epic collapse after allowing the Twins to come all the way back from an 8-0 deficit. Luckily, Nick Castellanos and J.D. Martinez found a couple big swings in the seventh and eighth innings to power the Tigers to a victory over the Twins, 10-8.
In the ninth, Francisco Rodriguez came on for the save and cruised through three hitters. Rodriguez got Joe Mauer, who surprisingly went 0-for-5 in a game that saw 18 runs, to ground out before getting Eduardo Nunez to do the same and striking out Miguel Sano.
Jordan Zimmerman pitched seven innings, giving up seven earned runs but striking out nine Twins hitters.
It was a weird night.
The Tigers put eight runs on the board in the first inning and it looked like tonight would be a game they could just cruise to victory.
Minnesota wasn't ready to give in, however, chipping away at the lead with a run here and a run there before putting four runs up in the fourth inning to cut the Tigers lead to 8-7. They would eventually tie the game in the seventh after J.D. dropped a routine fly ball in left field that would've been the inning's third out.
I'd say he made up for it, though.
Brad Ausmus put on quite the display of his own tonight after being tossed from the game in the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes. After having some choice words for the home plate umpire, Ausmus removed his sweater and laid it across home plate.
Maybe it's all the frustration that's been building up around the team lately, but it was certainaly nice to see Ausmus show some emotion.
Bottom 8th: Tigers 10, Twins 8
J.D. Martinez gave the Tigers bullpen a little cushion with a solo shot to left field that puts the Tigers up 10-8.
Ian Kinsler grounded out to leadoff the inning before Martinez turned on a ball on the inner half of the plate and muscled it over the fence.
Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez flew out to end the inning.
Top 8th: Tigers 9, Twins 8
Justin Wilson came on in relief for the Tigers in the eighth inning and left with the lead still intact.
Eddie Rosario struck out swinging, Kurt Suzuki grounded out back to the mound and pinch-hitting Oswaldo Arcia struck out to end the inning.
The much-maligned Tigers bullpen did its job for one inning. Still, it has three more outs to go.
Bottom 7th: Tigers 9, Twins 8
The Tigers' bats needed some rest after their big first inning, but they found enough juice for another shot of life as Nick Castellanos drilled a two-run home run to left field to leadoff the seventh inning and put the home team back out in front, 9-8.
Justin Upton got off the snide with a bloop single and chased reliever Pat Dean, who saved the Twins bullpen for this series with 5.1 solid innings of relief. Cameron Maybin sacrificed Upton to second, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia flew out to right field and Jose Iglesias grounded out as new Twins reliever Ryan Pressly was able to get his team out of the inning.
Top 7th: Tigers 8, Twins 8
Byung Ho Park nearly tied the game with a long double off the left center field wall off of Jordan Zimmerman, who appeared to get out of the inning on a fly ball from Trevor Plouffe. Problem is, J.D. Martinez forgot to catch the ball, letting it squirt out of his glove and fall to the ground. The Twins have come all the way back to tie this game, 8-8.
Zimmerman benefitted from a questionable strike three call to Brian Dozier that allowed him to escape the inning.
Eduardo Nunez grounded out and Migeul Sano struck out to start what looked like it was going to be an easy final inning for Zimmerman, whose pitch count is now up to 109. He's struck out nine over seven innings. It's a bit weird that he could last this long, strike out that many and still give up eight runs. But hey, it's the Tigers.
Bottom 6th: Tigers 8, Twins 7
J.D. Martinez singled to leadoff the inning, but Miguel Cabrera grounded into a double play as Pat Dean continues to get outs from the Tigers when he needs them. Victor Martinez flew out to shallow center field to complete a seven-pitch inning for Dean.
Top 6th: Tigers 8, Twins 7
Jose Iglesias made a highlight reel stop to rob Kurt Suzuki to a base hit to leadoff the inning. He then turned around and nabbed the speedy Danny Santana at first with a strong throw for the second out of the inning. Joe Mauer grounded out to second to end the inning. Jordan Zimmerman can thank Iglesias for that speedy frame.
Bottom 5th: Tigers 8, Twins 7
Cameron Maybin has been a breath of fresh air tonight, singling for the second time tonight and reaching base for the third time. Jarrod Saltalamacchia drew a walk to put two men on for Jose Iglesias, but the shortstop flew out to shallow center field. Ian Kinsler couldn't get the triple he needed for the cycle, instead flying out to left field to end the threat.
Justin Upton avoided striking out for the third time tonight, instead leading off the inning by popping out. Hey, progress.
Top 5th: Tigers 8, Twins 7
Maybe Brad Ausmus' meltdown after getting kicked out of the game will inject some life into this Tigers squad that has seen its massive lead disappear since the first inning.
Jordan Zimmerman had himself an easy 1-2-3 fifth, getting Trevor Plouffe to fly out to center field before striking out Brian Dozier and Eddie Rosario to end the inning.
Bottom 4th: Tigers 8, Twins 7
Pat Dean set the Tigers down in order in the fourth inning as the Twins are right back in this game thanks, in part, to their left-handed reliever holding down the fort.
Miguel Cabrera grounded out, Victor Martinez flew out to left field and Nick Castellanos struck out looking.
Brad Ausmus was tossed for arguing balls and strikes.
The Tigers bats need to wake up again. Taking the rest of the night off after the first inning is not advised.
Top 4th: Tigers 8, Twins 7
Not so fast, Tigers fans. That eight run lead is all but gone after the Twins put up another four runs in the fourth inning.
Trevor Plouffe led off with a single to left field and Brian Dozier moved him up to second base after grounding into a fielder's choice. That proved to be big as Plouffe attempted to steal third base and was able to score as the throw down from Jarrod Saltalamacchia got by Nick Castellanos and allowed Plouffe to come all the way home to make it 8-4.
Eddie Rosario followed with a double, Kurt Suzuki singled to put runners at the corners for Danny Santana, who notched an infield single to score Rosario.
Jordan Zimmerman bounced back to strike out Joe Mauer. He looked like he would get out of the inning with a chopper off the bat of Eduardo Nunez, but as luck would have it, Nunez got the ball to bounce off the bag at second base and scored Suzuki to make it 8-6.
The bad luck didn't stop there.
Miguel Sano grounded to Ian Kinsler, who had to rush his throw and threw it well past the outstretched glove of Miguel Cabrera. Santana scored and it's now 8-7.
Mercifully, Zimmerman struck out Byung Ho Park to end the inning with the lead intact.
Bottom 3rd: Tigers 8, Twins 3
Ian Kinsler notched a one-out single for his third hit of the night and is now just a triple short of the cycle with six innings left to play.
That fun was short-lived, however, as J.D. Martinez grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Jose Iglesias struck out to leadoff the inning.
Minnesota reliever Pat Dean has settled in nicely since coming on in relief for Jose Berrios in the first inning. The Tigers have five hits off of him but he hasn't allowed them to score in the last two innings.
Top 3rd: Tigers 8, Twins 3
The Twins aren't ready to cave in just yet, reminding all the people out there that may have counted them out after the first inning that there is a lot of baseball left to play tonight.
Miguel Sano came to the dish with two outs and absolutely crushed a home run over the left field fence to cut the Tigers lead to 8-3.
Jordan Zimmerman struck out Joe Mauer and got Eduardo Nunez to ground out to start the inning. Perhaps Zimmerman got a little too comfortable after the Tigers spotted him eight runs in the first inning. He needs to dial it in.
Bottom 2nd: Tigers 8, Twins 2
Cameron Maybin notched his first hit of the season in his second at-bat, dropping a bloop two-out single into right field. He was able to show off his wheels after that, stealing second base with ease off of Pat Dean and Kurt Suzuki. Jarrod Saltalamacchia couldn't bring him home, though, striking out to end the inning.
Nick Castellanos flew out to center field and Justin Upton struck out for the second time tonight to start the inning.
Top 2nd: Tigers 8, Twins 2
The Twins had an answer for the Tigers huge first inning as Kurt Suzuki drilled a two-run shot to left field to cut the Tigers lead to 8-2.
Brian Dozier notched a one-out infield single deep behind the second base bag and Eddie Rosario grounded into a fielder's choice, just beating the throw to first base and keeping the inning alive for Suzuki.
Danny Santana grounded out to end the inning.
Trevor Plouffe struck out to leadoff the inning.
Bottom 1st: Tigers 8, Twins 0
Jose Berrios may have a bright future with the Twins, but the 21-year-old is off to a rocky start as the first pitch he delivered was drilled over the left field fence by Ian Kinsler for a leadoff home run.
It didn't get any better for the youngster against the veteran Tigers lineup. In fact, it got worse.
J.D. Martinez and Miguel Cabrera both worked Berrios into full counts before drawing free passes. Both moved up a base when Victor Martinez grounded out and Nick Castellanos brought J.D. home with a single through the left side of the infield to make it 2-0 in favor of the Tigers.
With runners on the corners, Justin Upton worked himself out of an 0-2 count into a full count, but he went fishing four ball four and struck out. Cameron Maybin, in his first at-bat of the season, drew the Tigers' third walk of the opening frame.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia got a chance to deliver with the bases loaded, but Berrios continued to struggle finding the strike zone, giving the home team a 3-0 lead by walking the catcher. Jose Iglesias delivered the final blow to Berrios, nearly hitting the ball out to left center field before settling for a double off the wall and clearing the bases to make it 6-0. Berrios was immediately relieved of his position on the mound after 39 first inning pitches.
Pat Dean came on in relief for Minnesota and got Ian Kinsler to pop up. Problem is, the ball found some open space and Kinsler doubled to bring home Iglesias and make it 7-0. J.D. kept the good times going, doubling to center field. 8-0. Cabrera came up for his second at-bat of the inning and stroked a lowly single to put runners at the corners for Victor, who grounded out to mercifully end the inning.
Top 1st: Tigers 0, Twins 0
Eduardo Nunez stroked a one-out single to center field and stole second base with two outs, but Jordan Zimmerman retired the next two hitters with ease to get out of the first inning unscathed.
Zimmerman struck out Miguel Sano and Byung Ho Park grounded out to third base to end the inning.
Joe Mauer flew out to left, where Justin Upton made a nice grab near the line for the game's first out.
1. Joe Mauer, 1B
2. Eduardo Nunez, SS
3. Miguel Sano, RF
4. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
5. Byung Ho Park, DH
6. Brian Dozier, 2B
7. Eddie Rosario, LF
8. Kurt Suzuki, C
9. Danny Santana, CF
Jose Berrios, P
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. J.D. Martinez, RF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Victor Martinez, DH
5. Nick Castellanos, 3B
6. Justin Upton, LF
7. Cameron Maybin, CF
8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
9. Jose Iglesias, SS
Jordan Zimmermann, P
TIGERS VS. TWINS
What: First of a three-game series
When: Monday, 7:08 p.m.
Where: Comerica Park
Pitching matchup: Jordan Zimmermann (5-2, 1.50) vs. Jose Berrios (1-1, 6.28)
Local TV: FSD
Internet streaming: MLB.TV
Local radio: 97.1 FM
Satellite radio: Sirius, SIRI 81 (Internet 849)