It wasn’t a pretty win, and it was never a sure thing, but the Tigers managed to come away with the W after a gruelling four hour slog in Minneapolis.
Defensive miscues are starting to become par for the course with the Detroit Tigers this April. First John Hicks — called up from Toledo to fill in for Miguel Cabrera’s stint on the disabled list — dropped an easy pop fly next to the Twins’ dugout. Then Justin Upton missed the following hit by Jorge Polanco which bounced of the left field wall.
It wasn’t pretty, and as FSD commentator Rod Allen mused, the display had “shades of Tampa” to it, calling back memories of the Tigers defensively shaky series in Tampa Bay against the Rays.
A bench-clearing brawl — in which Miguel Sano punched James McCann — occurred in the bottom of the fifth, after a pitch behind from Matthew Boyd. Boyd, after some delay from the umpires was ejected alongside Sano. McCann would get the last laugh on this particular dust up, but getting a run in on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.
Boyd nearly misses Sano with a pitch and the bench clear ensues pic.twitter.com/RBPNfvCFLY— Ron W (@FIPmyWHIP) April 22, 2017
Two massive bombs in the third inning, one from Nicholas Castellanos and the other from Justin Upton were a huge assist to the Tigers after their defensive bobbles at the bottom of the previous inning.
Justin Wilson came on in the 8th and continued his great season with a 1-2-3 inning, extending his no-hit streak.
The painful hit-by-pitch from Justin Haley, who hit JaCoby Jones in the face was brutal to watch, and also further cripples the Tigers lineup, as Jones will certainly join Miguel Cabrera on the disabled list.
Boyd continued to struggle to find the command he showed in spring training, giving up three walks early in the game. He maintained a good pace through the game but was denied a decision on his start after his ejection in the fifth inning.
Francisco Rodriguez gave up a ninth inning home run to Jason Castro, Castro’s third off Rodriguez in his career. This is a continuation of a song-and-dance Tigers fans have been seeing from the floundering closer for several games now.
STREAKS AND INFO:
Most importantly, the Tigers four-game losing streak ended today.
Nicholas Castellanos was the go-ahead guy each time the Tigers fell behind the Twins. His third inning home run and sixth inning RBI double both put the Tigers back in the lead in their respective innings.
Hicks, Upton, and Castellanos all had a multi-hit game today.
Victor Martinez continues to search for his first extra base hit of the season, in an unusually tepid start to his year.
With the loss of Jones, the Tigers are now without JaCoby Jones (day-to-day, hit by pitch), Miguel Cabrera (10-day DL, groin), J.D. Martinez (10-day DL, Lisfranc strain), Jose Iglesias (7-day DL, concussion). Needless to say the Tigers are looking forward to having their lineup back in full health.