Live Tigers blog: Mauer delivers 2-RBI single; Twins win

Bruce Mason
The Detroit News

Twins right-handed reliever Tyler Duffey earned a 1-2-3 inning to end the game as Minnesota wins, 9-4 at Comerica Park.

Duffey retired Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias (line out), second baseman Ian Kinsler (ground out) and centerfielder Mikie Mahtook (fly out).

The night marked another poor outing for Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez, who coughed up five earned runs in six innings.

Top 9: Mauer rips two-RBI single

Twins first baseman Joe Mauer delivered a two-RBI single to increase the Minnesota lead to 9-4 in the top of the ninth.

Mauer is 3-for-5 tonight.

Tigers reliever Chad Bell loaded the bases as Jorge Polanco singled, Brian Dozier walked and Max Kepler singled to set the table for Mauer.

Tigers rookie right-hander Joe Jimenez struck out Twins designated hitter Miguel Sano (86-mph slider). One pitch later, he induced an inning-ending ground out from Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario.

Bottom 8: Castellanos blunder ends inning

Another baserunning blunder ends a threat. How many times have we seen it this year?

Nick Castellanos was tagged out at third base for the final out of the inning to kill any chance of chipping into the Twins' 7-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth.

Castellanos appeared to tag up not once, but twice, which led to his dead-duck status at third base.

Here's how it unfolded: Twins left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers (3.74 ERA) faced Tigers pinch-hitter John Hicks with one out and two runners on base. Hicks hit a line drive to right field, but Twins outfielder Max Kepler made an over-the-head catch. Two outs.

Kepler then relayed to Twins infielder Brian Dozier, who gunned the ball to third base and nailed Castellanos by several feet.

Castellanos had an interesting inning on the bases. He singled down the right-field line — although he was late to leave the batter's box. He then advanced to second base on a wild pitch.

Tigers catcher James McCann followed with a one-out walk to place stress on Rogers, who gave up a three-run homer to Justin Upton in Minnesota on July 22.

No such drama this time. Hicks was a victim of a nice play by Kepler.

Top 8: Cabrera's alert play ends inning

Tigers left-handed reliever Chad Bell (5.35 ERA) entered the game with one out in the top of the eighth inning and gave up a single to the Twins' Eddie Rosario (3-for-4 tonight), but the frame ended on an alert play by Miguel Cabrera.

It’s 7-4 Twins at Comerica Park.

Bell induced a ground ball from Twins third baseman Eduardo Escobar, who hit into a fielder’s choice (Rosario out at second base) for the second out of the inning.  Then centerfielder Byron Buxton hit a grounder to Jose Iglesias, but his throw was off the first base bag.

Cabrera, however, caught it in front of the bag and fired across the diamond to third base, where Escobar was tagged out.

Tigers right-handed reliever Alex Wilson struck out Twins designated hitter Miguel Sano to start the inning and was pulled for Bell.

Rosario is 12-for-36 with nine RBIs and five extra-base hits against the Tigers this season. He blasted a three-run homer in the fourth inning tonight.

Bottom 7: Upton hits RBI single, but Miggy strands two

Tigers left fielder Justin Upton delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning off Twins right-hander Trevor Hildenberger (2.66 ERA).

It’s 7-4 Twins at Comerica Park.

Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler and centerfielder Mikie Mahtook hit consecutive two-out singles, then Upton drilled a liner through the middle.

That brought up Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who grounded softly to third base to end the inning. Two runners were stranded.

Cabrera is 0-for-4 tonight with four runners left on base. In August, he's batting .176 (6-for-34) with no home runs and nine strikeouts.

Tigers right fielder Andrew Romine struck out on three pitches and shortstop Jose Iglesias grounded out to start the inning.

Top 7: Wilson coughs up two hits

It’s rather confusing to see a reliever who’s dominated since July 1 get pulled from the game, but Tigers manager Brad Ausmus made the odd choice, and it led to two more Twins runs.

It’s 7-3 Twins in the top of the seventh at Comerica Park.

Tigers left-handed reliever Daniel Stumpf has not given up an earned run in his past 16 outings entering tonight. He entered the game in the top of the seventh and induced a ground out from Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco (ground out).

From there, Stumpf gave up a single to catcher Jason Castro – and that’s when Tigers manager Brad Ausmus exited the dugout and pulled Stumpf.

Tigers right-hander Alex Wilson entered to face Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, who ripped an RBI triple. Next was Twins right fielder Max Kepler, who hit an RBI single.

Why not leave in Stumpf? In 13.2 innings dating back to July 1, he has struck out 12 and given up seven hits.

Instead, he will be charged with an earned run (Castro scoring on Dozier's triple).

Bottom 6: Pressly gets 1-2-3 frame

Twins right-handed reliever Ryan Pressly (5.49 ERA) earned a 1-2-3 inning to end the sixth on nine pitches.

It’s 5-3 Twins at Comerica Park.

In the sixth, Pressly retired Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (fly out), designated hitter Victor Martinez (strike out) and catcher James McCann (fly out).

Martinez is 0-for-3 tonight with two strikeouts. He is 2-for-28 across his past seven games.

Tigers left-handed reliever Daniel Stumpf is on the mound in the top of the seventh.

Top 6: Rosario singles to continue hot streak

Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario continued his Tiger-killing ways with a one-out single, but Anibal Sanchez escaped the inning without giving up any damage.

It's 5-3 Twins after the top of the sixth inning.

Rosario stole second base, but Sanchez retired Twins third baseman Eduardo Escobar (line out) and centerfielder Byron Buxton (pop out).

Rosario is 11-for-35 against Detroit this season – including a three-run homer tonight.

Sanchez has struck out six and walked none on 90 pitches. But yet again, home runs have plagued him: Two more tonight have led to five earned runs in six innings.

Bottom 5: Iglesias, Upton drive home runs

Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias (double) and Justin Upton (single) both drove in a run to narrow the Twins lead and chase starter Kyle Gibson from the mound.

It's 5-3 Twins after the bottom of the fifth inning at Comerica Park.

Andrew Romine drew a one-out walk — the first of the game issued by Gibson. From there, Iglesias doubled to left field, which scored Romine from first base.

Ian Kinsler (0-for-3) grounded out for the second out of the inning. But Iglesias advanced to third base on a wild pitch and centerfielder Mikie Mahtook drew a walk.

Upton singled through the middle to score Iglesias and end the night of Gibson, who matched a season-high with six strikeouts.

Twins right-handed reliever Ryan Pressly (5.53 ERA) entered the game to face Miguel Cabrera, who flied out softly on the second pitch of the at-bat — and placed both hands on his helmet in disbelief as he exited the batter's box.

Top 5: Sanchez gives up second homer of night

Add Twins right fielder Max Kepler to the growing list of home run hitters against Anibal Sanchez, who gave up his second homer of the night, this time a two-run shot.

It's 5-1 Twins after the top of the fifth inning at Comerica Park.

Sanchez punched his hands together as Kepler rounded the bases. It's the eighth homer allowed by Sanchez in the past 14.2 innings.

Sanchez earned two outs to start the fifth as he retired Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco (line out) and catcher Jason Castro (strike out).

But Twins second baseman Brian Dozier reached base on a weak ground ball along the infield grass — and it cost the Tigers.

Sanchez has thrown 78 pitches. He has five strikeouts and no walks, but has given up five earned runs on seven hits.

Kepler belted a 92-mph sinker to the right-field seats for his 14th homer of the season.

Bottom 4: Buxton robs Miggy of extra-base hit

Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos delivered a two-out single, but designated hitter Victor Martinez watched strike three cross the plate to end the fourth inning.

It’s 3-1 Twins at Comerica Park.

Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson has six strikeouts and no walks through four innings. The six strikeouts match a season-high.

In the top of the fourth, Twins centerfielder Byron Buxton made a diving catch on the warning track to rob an extra-base hit from Miguel Cabrera.

Tigers left fielder Justin Upton struck out for the second time of the night to begin the inning.

Gibson has thrown 69 pitches. He’s given up three hits — including a first-inning solo homer to Mikie Mahtook.

Top 4: Sanchez gives up 7th homer in 13.2 innings

When Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez makes a mistake, it's awfully costly.

Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario belted a three-run homer to left field in the top of the fourth inning to continue the recent struggles for Sanchez, who has given up seven homers in his past 13.2 innings.

It's 3-1 Twins at Comerica Park.

Twins first baseman Joe Mauer and designated hitter Miguel Sano hit back-to-back singles with one out in the inning. From there, Rosario connected on a 91-mph sinker on the first pitch of his at-bat.

Rosario entered tonight 9-for-32 with four extra-base hits against the Tigers this year.

Mauer, who is 2-for-2 tonight, connected on a 77-mph curveball for a one-out single. Sano hit an 84-mph slider.

In his previous start, Sanchez gave up five home runs in three innings at Baltimore.

Detroit Tigers' Mikie Mahtook, right, celebrates his solo home run with Miguel Cabrera during the first inning.

Bottom 3: Kinsler, Mahtook strike out

Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson earned back-to-back strikeouts to end the third inning.

The Tigers lead 1-0 at Comerica Park.

Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias grounded out softly to lead off the inning. From there, Gibson struck out Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (slider) and centerfielder Mikie Mahtook (change up).

Gibson has four strikeouts and no walks. He's thrown 53 pitches.

Top 3: Sanchez gets another scoreless frame

Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez threw his third straight scoreless inning as the Tigers lead the Twins 1-0 at Comerica Park.

In the top of the third, Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco extended his hitting streak to nine games with a leadoff single, but he tried to steal second base and was thrown out by Tigers catcher James McCann.

Twins catcher Jason Castro and second baseman Brian Dozier flied out to end the inning.

Sanchez has given up two hits and no walks. He’s struck out three batters.

Bottom 2: McCann's two-out single goes for naught

Tigers catcher James McCann recorded a two-out single, but Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson induced a ground out from right fielder Andrew Romine to end the bottom of the second inning.

It’s 1-0 Tigers at Comerica Park.

Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos struck out (84-mph changeup) and designated hitter Victor Martinez lined out to center field to begin the inning.

Martinez snapped an 0-for-21 skid on Thursday.

Top 2: Sanchez gets two strikeouts

Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the top of the second inning.

The Tigers lead the Twins 1-0 at Comerica Park.

Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario entered tonight scorching against the Tigers this year (9-for-32 with six RBIs), but he grounded out to lead off the inning.

From there, Sanchez used his sinker to strike out third baseman Eduardo Escobar and a slider to retire centerfielder Byron Buxton, both looking.

Bottom 1: Mahtook homers for second straight game

Tigers centerfielder Mikie Mahtook hit a solo homer to left field  — and just above the leaping glove of Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario.

It’s 1-0 Tigers after the top of the first at Comerica Park.

Rosario could have made the play, but he ran out of the room as his backside brushed against the fence, which hindered his leap.

Mahtook has homered in back-to-back games. Since June 1, he is hitting .337, which is third best in the American League (minimum of 150 at-bats).

Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson stymied the Tigers three weeks ago when he threw a three-hit shutout through seven innings. Tonight the Tigers are making him work.

Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler popped out after a seven-pitch battle to lead off the inning, and then Mahtook battled in a nine-pitch at-bat that was capped by his eighth homer of the season.

Gibson struck out Justin Upton and induced a ground out from Miguel Cabrera to end the first inning.

Kinsler was reportedly claimed off revocable waivers prior to tonight’s game, according to Chris McCosky of The Detroit News.

Top 1: Sanchez ends inning with strikeout

Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez gave up a two-out single to Twins first baseman Joe Mauer, but recovered by striking out designated hitter Miguel Sano (83-mph splitter) to end the first inning.

It’s scoreless at Comerica Park in Detroit.

It took three pitches for Sanchez to earn two outs: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier popped out and right fielder Max Kepler grounded out.

Sanchez eyes rebound after nightmare outing

The last time we saw Anibal Sanchez, he featured a look of bewilderment as the baseball sprayed across the field at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Ten hits, eight runs, a franchise-tying record five home runs allowed, and all the damage came within three innings.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus believed it was a bump in the road. But is this another Tigers pitcher who is hanging on for dear life in the final stages of his career?

The Tigers awarded too many chances to closer Francisco Rodriguez when it was blatantly obvious he needed to be released. Sanchez's performance in Baltimore was eerily similar to the start of the season when he allowed 21 earned runs and nine homers in 21 innings.

In the top of the first inning, he will face Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, right fielder Max Kepler and first baseman Joe Mauer.

Pregame

The Tigers and Minnesota Twins open a three-game series at Comerica Park on Friday night. The News' Bruce Mason will provide updates throughout the game, which starts at 7:10 (FSD/97.1).

Here's a little pregame reading to get you in the mood for baseball:

Source: Tigers’ Ian Kinsler claimed, but likely staying

Jack White, Tigers team up on exclusive record

VerHagen 'flat,' rocked in spot start as Tigers fall

Mahtook earning keep as Tigers’ everyday center fielder

TIGERS LINEUP

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. Mikie Mahtook, CF

3. Justin Upton, LF

4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

5. Nick Castellanos, 3B

6. Victor Martinez, DH

7. James McCann, C

8. Andrew Romine, RF

9. Jose Iglesias, SS

P. Anibal Sanchez

TWINS LINEUP

1. Brian Dozier, 2B

2. Max Kepler, RF

3. Joe Mauer, 1B

4. Miguel Sano, DH

5. Eddie Rosario, LF

6. Eduardo Escobar, 3B

7. Byron Buxton, CF

8. Jorge Polanco, SS

9. Jason Castro, C

P. Kyle Gibson