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Tigers 8, Twins 3: Cameron Maybin sparks Detroit offense to another win

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Maybin was the Tigers’ offensive catalyst on Tuesday as they cruised to an easy win over the Twins.

Houston Astros v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Like the weather, the Detroit Tigers offense dripped a bit here and there, resulting in two runs over the first five innings. Then, also like the weather, the floodgates opened in the sixth and the Tigers stormed their way to an 8-3 win over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on Monday evening.

The Tigers opened the scoring in the top of the second, but could have had a lot more. Victor Martinez reached base on an infield single, his seventh (!) of the season. Justin Upton stayed hot with a double down the left field line, but a Casey McGehee groundout put the Tigers in jeopardy of coming away with nothing. Luckily, Twins starter Kyle Gibson was struggling with his command all game long. He walked James McCann on four pitches to load the bases, then walked No. 9 hitter Cameron Maybin to make the score 1-0.

The Twins took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third, but were a bit fortunate to do so. Brian Dozier reached base on an infield single, then stole second base with one out. Shortstop Jorge Polanco lined a 2-2 slider from Anibal Sanchez into the right field corner, which scored Dozier easily. Polanco probably should have been held to a double, but a slight bobble from right fielder J.D. Martinez allowed him to get to third. Then, with the infield in, another bobble on a ground ball by Ian Kinsler gave Polanco enough time to scamper home for the Twins’ second run. No errors were handed out during the inning, though.

Detroit tied the game in the fifth when Maybin nearly manufactured a run all by himself. He singled with one out, then reached third on a stolen base and throwing error from Twins catcher Juan Centeno. Maybin scored on an Erick Aybar single to make it 2-2. Unfortunately, the lead would not last long; Dozier hit a solo home run in the bottom of the frame to give the Twins a 3-2 lead.

Then, the Tigers offense took over. Victor and J.D. Martinez both singled to lead off the sixth, and Victor scored after a pair of wild pitches from Gibson. The Twins went to their bullpen when Gibson walked Upton, but reliever Michael Tonkin promptly uncorked a wild pitch of his own (the third of the inning). Tonkin retired McGehee and McCann, but Maybin lined an RBI single back up the middle to score two runs, making it 5-3. After Sanchez worked an easy 1-2-3 sixth, the Tigers extended their lead thanks to home runs from Aybar and Victor Martinez in the seventh.

Meanwhile, Anibal Sanchez was quietly dominant for another start. He didn’t flirt with a no-hitter this time around, but scattered six hits over seven innings. He only struck out two and allowed a home run, but did not walk a batter and probably should have only been charged with two earned runs.

ROARS:

Anibal Sanchez: See above.

Victor Martinez: He grounded into a double play in the ninth, but that’s the only negative thing you can say about his night. V-Martin finished with three hits, three runs scored, and two RBI.

Cameron Maybin: He only recorded one hit, but walked twice and drove in three runs. Maybin also led the Tigers with a whopping +.469 WPA on the evening.

HISSES:

Ian Kinsler: His pop-up issues continued as Kinsler went 0-for-5 and left five runners on base.

Casey McGehee: 0-for-4, six left on base. He hit a couple of balls hard, but was a non-factor in the win.

STATS AND REACTIONS:
  • The strike zone in this game was... inconsistent, to say the least.
  • Erick Aybar looks like a great pick up for the Tigers right now. He has seven hits in his first six games with Detroit, including a monster home run in the seventh inning of this game.
  • Sanchez lowered his ERA to 5.83 and earned his seventh win of the season.
  • Justin Upton: still red-hot. His double in the second was particularly impressive; it came on a 3-0 pitch, and was the type of aggressive swing you don’t often see a struggling player make.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:

Source: FanGraphs