Tigers' McGehee has seen enough of Rosario
Minneapolis – Nobody in the park Thursday was happier to see somebody other than Eddie Rosario in center field than Tigers third baseman Casey McGehee.
“I’ve had enough of that guy,” McGehee said.
Rosario had already taken two extra-base hits away from McGehee in the series. He ran down rockets hit to deep right-center on both Tuesday and Wednesday. The one Wednesday night was especially cruel – he was playing shallow, turned and on a full sprint ran the ball down just in front of the wall.
“And that wasn’t even the best one he’s had on me this year,” McGehee said. “He made a play on me in a game at Rochester that would make both of those catches look routine.”
It was in June when McGehee was still playing at Triple-A Toledo, and Rosario was working on his offensive game in Rochester.
“I hit a ball to left field and the left fielder gave up on it,” McGehee said. “There’s this weird cutout in the outfield. All of a sudden, (Rosario) comes out of the corner (of the cutout) with the ball. I was like, ‘What the (heck).’”
So, Rosario got the day off Thursday and guess what? In his first at-bat, McGehee hit a sinking liner down the line in right field – which Max Kepler caught on a dive.
The baseball gods did relent, though. McGehee wound up scratching out a pair of infield hits.
Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris watched the Twins swing early and often in the first two games of this series. And he figured it was something he could exploit in his start Thursday.
“I knew they like to swing early and hunt fastballs,” Norris said. “I tried to play into that and let them get themselves out.”
Norris threw fastballs (two-seamers and four-seamers) on 26 of his first 34 pitches of the game. He fell behind more batters than he would normally prefer, but that was part of the plan. He was staying out of the middle of the plate, inducing early contact and getting quick outs.
He wound up getting nine ground-ball outs and five strikeouts through 6⅓ innings. Once the Tigers went ahead 8-0, he went into full attack mode.
“Yeah, I am just attacking at that point,” he said. “If the game was closer, maybe I throw some different pitches. But with an eight-run lead, you don’t have to strikeout guys on the first three pitches.”
Lefty Justin Wilson continues to be an enigma for the Tigers.
He was tasked with getting the final out of the eighth inning Thursday in an 8-3 game. There were two runners on and left-handed hitting Max Kepler at the plate. Outs against left-handed hitters have been elusive for Wilson – Kepler rapped a two-run double.
In his last 14 outings, Wilson has allowed 10 earned runs, including four home runs. Opponents are hitting .333 against him and lefties nearly .280.
He has battled elbow soreness this season, but manager Brad Ausmus said he wasn’t aware there is anything wrong with him physically right now.
“He has pitched better,” Ausmus said. “He gave up the double, but he was still able to get out of the inning.”
Ausmus said at this point he was not considering altering Wilson’s role.
Around the horn
…The Tigers have won six straight games at Target Field this season and eight straight going back to last year.
…J.D. Martinez went 0 for 5, ending his hit streak at 14 games.
…Victor Martinez had seven hits in the three-game series. In nine games at Target Field this season, he is hitting .615 (16 for 26), scoring nine runs. In his career, 46 games, he’s hitting .370 at Target Field.