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Twins 6, Tigers 5: A game of inches

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It was so close, but ultimately not close enough.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Fans came in to today’s game wondering if Jordan Zimmermann could repeat the magic of his last start against the Kansas City Royals — his best of the 2017 season thus far — in tonight’s matchup against the Minnesota Twins.

TL;DR? No, he couldn’t.

Zimmermann didn’t even make it out of the fourth inning before manager Brad Ausmus was forced to pull him in favor of reliever Warwick Saupold. At the end of the day, Zimmermann’s line was 3 2/3 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 1 K. 86 pitches. While not his season worst for walks (that was five walks, and also against the Twins back in April) it was still the most walks he’s yielded since that game.

Maybe the Twins are just bad luck for Zimm.

Maybe this season is just bad luck for the Tigers.

Anyway, the Twins started scoring early and didn’t let up, and we know how well the Tigers fare when they give up the lead early on. Badly. This was no different, the offense was quiet for the bulk of the game, right up to the eighth inning when suddenly Detroit’s bats woke up and an RBI from Alex Presley paved the way for a Justin Upton 3-run home run.

The Tigers managed to keep it close and interesting, but in the end it just wasn’t enough to beat the Twins.

ROARS:

Mikie Mahtook and Alex Presley — these two, who now find themselves as every day players in the wake of J.D. Martinez’s trade, were the the earliest offensive producers into tonight’s game. Mahtook continues to be impressive since his uptick in production starting in June, helping score the 5th run for the Tigers, and Presley was especially good at bat tonight, knocking in the game’s first run.

Justin Upton got a few tremendous catches in left field, stealing some runs from the Twins, including a throw out at home. His efforts kept the game from getting significantly more out of hand for the Tigers. Not content to just help in the outfield, he belted a mammoth 3-run home run in the eighth, suddenly putting the Tigers right back in the game.

HISSES:

Jordan Zimmermann. Just... ouch.

James McCann’s new goatee. Nope.

That ridiculous review play when Castellanos was called out at first base. Probably should have been safe and really hurt the Tigers.

STREAKS & INFO:

Upton’s 3-run blast was his first home run since June 29th.