There was no lack of excitement for Wednesday's getaway day game. In the series finale between the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins, there were six home runs between the two teams and a multitude of extra-base hits. The Tigers won 10-7 over the Twins thanks in large part to Miguel Cabrera's two-home run day, and James McCann's two-run inside-the-park home run.
Shane Greene was up and down for the second straight start. He struck out seven consecutive batters but he also gave up two home runs, one a mammoth 416-foot, two-run shot by Oswaldo Arcia. He exited after allowing seven runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings pitched. Despite eight strikeouts in that short time, Greene departed with the Tigers trailing by four runs. Of note, while Twins starter Phil Hughes recorded a decent outing, he was lifted after five innings for a mild left hip flexor strain. From there on out it was a battle of the bullpens.
Blaine Hardy, Angel Nesbitt, and Tom Gorzelanny came on in relief and combined to pitch 3 2/3 scoreless innings in support of Greene, allowing just three hits while striking out four in that time. Despite a leadoff walk and a two-out single in the ninth, Joakim Soria recorded his ninth save of the season by striking out Trevor Plouffe to end the game.
After the Tigers offense all but disappeared Tuesday night, it came roaring back with a vengeance. Detroit recorded five doubles and four home runs, two coming from Cabrera, who absolutely destroyed two baseballs, one of which landed in the second deck. In his first at-bat, Cabrera nearly hit what would have been his third home run, but it bounced off of the right field overhang and dropped for a double. James McCann and J.D. Martinez recorded the other two, but McCann's was by far the most exciting as his was the first inside-the-park dinger since Austin Jackson's in 2010.
Of the 17 hits recorded by the Tigers, 10 came around to score. The only error of the game went against Greene, who failed to get to first base in time after Cabrera flashed the leather and made a nice throw from his back. As a result, he wasn't able to glove the throw completely and the runner was safe at first. But in the end the Tigers recovered from a four-run deficit following Greene's rough start, taking yet another series and improving their record to 15-7 for the season.
James McCann: McCann's career-first home run wasn't just a home run. It was an inside-the-park home run, and the first one for the Tigers since former Tiger Austin Jackson hit one on August 8, 2010. Nick Castellanos, who was on first base following a single he'd hit, scored as well, making it a two-run inside-the-park homer. Earlier in the game McCann had also knocked an RBI double in the fifth.
Miguel Cabrera: Smacked an RBI double in the fourth inning, scoring Ian Kinsler from second, who had doubled before him. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead at the time. But that paled in comparison to the 465 footer Cabrera crushed into the second deck in left field in the sixth, 49 feet further than Oswaldo Arcia's homer earlier in the game. And if that wasn't enough, Cabrera then smoked a ball straight to center field that actually hit the dirt past the outfield grass, visibly denting the dirt/padded wall and giving the Tigers a 10-7 lead over the Twins.
Doubles: The Tigers recorded five straight hits in the fifth inning, three of which were back-to-back-to-back doubles. Yoenis Cespedes, Nick Castellanos, and James McCann all recorded extra-base hits, the latter two driving in a run apiece to tie the game 3-3 at the time.
J.D. Martinez: Drove himself in with a line drive home run to left in the sixth following Cabrera's monster homer. It was his first homer since April 18.
Andrew Romine's bat: Romine had four hits for the day and drove in the go-ahead run for the Tigers in the eighth, giving Detroit an 8-7 lead over the Twins. Romine also stole second base in the sixth, his third of the year. His four-hit day was the first of his career.
Shane Greene: After three light's out starts, Greene didn't come back to earth, he crashed into it and then some. In his last two starts, Green has allowed 15 earned runs in 8 1/3 innings pitched. Wednesday Greene gave up two homers to right and then left, respectively, a two- and three-run home run and exited after just 4 1/3 innings pitched. While he struck out seven consecutive batters, three came between several hits allowed in the fourth when the Twins scored three.
Andrew Romine's feet: While Romine's bat was having a good day, his baserunning was not. Romine had multiple blunders on the bases, most notably in steal attempts. Romine had tried to steal second base in the third and third base in the fifth. Both times Romine got poor jumps and both times he was caught attempting to steal.
Rajai Davis: After a hot streak, Davis had to take a couple of days off for right groin tightness. He went 0-for-5 with a strikeout, one of two Tigers to go hitless on Wednesday.
Victor Martinez: It almost feels wrong to give Martinez a hiss because he's not even close to 100 percent, but in the end he still finished 0-for-5 for the day.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Miguel Cabrera's RBI double in the fourth inning marked his 1,372nd hit as a Tiger, tying him with Harvey Kuenn for 15th in franchise history. Cabrera's home run in the fifth gave him sole occupancy for 15th place.
- The last Tiger to hit an inside the park home run for his first career home run prior to Wednesday was Frank Lary against the Oakland Athletics on April 17, 1956, per STATS, LLC.
- Castellanos' RBI double in the fifth snapped an 0-for-15 skid. He finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and the RBI.
- Cespedes has now hit safely in 20-of-21 games against the Twins with his double in the fifth.
- The Tigers recorded five doubles against Twins starter Phil Hughes. All five were hit by a right-handed batter, and all were opposite field hits.
- Andrew Romine finished with a four-hit day, a career-first for the backup utility player.
- Joakim Soria's nine saves in April are the most by a Tigers pitcher in April in franchise history.
- The Tigers have taken six of the seven series they've played in April and head into Kansas City to face the Royals for a four-game series to end April and begin May. Of the 10 starting players in the Tigers offense (Anthony Gose and Davis serving as a platoon), seven are hitting over .270 and four Tigers batters are over the .300 mark in April.
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