Spencer Turnbull rebounded from his rough debut start to notch a quality start, and rookie Harold Castro sparked a late inning rally to get the Detroit Tigers a lead they would fight to hold onto, as they beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2. Castro collected his first career hit, steal, and run in his debut game, while Turnbull shook off a rocky start against these same Twins last week to get the Tigers a win in the first game on their final road trip of the year.
Continuing their experimentation with The Opener™, the Twins began the game with Gabriel Moya on the mound. He allowed a leadoff walk to Jeimer Candelario, then retired the side on lazy pop-ups. Kohl Stewart then came on in the second inning and shut down the Tigers on one hit over his first four innings.
Meanwhile, Turnbull got his second career start, and second in a row against Minnesota. Though he got into trouble early in the first inning after a Joe Mauer single, wild pitch, and Jorge Polanco RBI double, he settled in to strike out the side, though struggled with his command in doing so. He labored through the next four innings as his command came and went, but the late life on his fastball ensured the Twins could not square anything up. Still, he gutted out a gritty six inning effort and would end up with a quality start as he completed six innings, giving up just the one run on six hits, one walk, and five strikeouts.
The Tigers managed to put pressure on Stewart in the top of the sixth when Candelario squeezed a base hit through the shift and Nicholas Castellanos reached with one out on a fielding error. However, as the saying goes, their threatening did not result in scoring, as Niko Goodrum and Mikie Mahtook flied out to end the threat.
In the eighth, Castro leadoff the inning with his first major league hit. He promptly collected his first major league steal, though he was initially called out, but reply overturned the call. Christin Stewart would then do what he has done so well in his short major league career: draw walks. This brought up Castellanos, who also did what he has done so well in his career: hit the snot out of baseballs. His single scored Castro (his first major league run). Victor Reyes, pinch running for Stewart, advanced all the way to third base. Niko Goodrum brought Reyes home on a single, ending the night of Twins setup man Trevor Hildenberger. Trevor May came on to get Mikie Mahtook to ground into a near-double play at second. The Twins challenged that Goodrum interfered with the throw at second, but the call was not overturned. This brought up James McCann, who, on a 2-2 pitch, roped a double into the right field corner to score two and give the Tigers a 4-1 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Twins would get right back in it. Joe Jimenez came on to hold the lead. He served up a single to Joe Mauer, then bounce a slider that got away from McCann, who then threw into center field trying to get Mauer, who would end up on third. Joe struck out Jorge Polanco, but Jake Cave singled home Mauer to make the score 4-2. Jimenez did not make it out of the inning, as he allowed a single and a walk with two outs. Alex Wilson entered with the bases loaded and got the third out to send it to the ninth with the Tigers still leading.
The Tigers went quietly in the top of the ninth, turning things over to Shane Greene in the bottom of the frame. Greene retired the first two easily but walked Mauer — man, that guy can retire anytime now — but struck out Polanco looking on three pitches to close out the game.
- With his single in the bottom of the first, Joe Mauer reached base for the 3,073rd time, securing his spot atop the all time Minnesota Twins leaderboard. He entered the night tied with Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew.
- Harold Castro notched his first major league hit, leading off the top of the eighth inning, on a ground ball through the box. He made his major league debut tonight, having been recalled a couple days ago from his home in Venezuela, thanks to the retirement of Victor Martinez, the extended injury to Iglesias, and the desire of Ron Gardenhire to field a complete lineup of light-hitting versatile infielders.
- In the top of the second, with one out and JaCoby Jones on third, Dawel Lugo hit a chopper back to Kohl Stewart, who caught Jones off third base. Jones tried to avoid the tag from the third baseman with an acrobatic leap back to the bag, but ended up being tagged out in a rather, uhh, sensitive area.
Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?
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