The Tigers tried to jump on Twins’ starter Jake Odorizzi early as Christin Stewart drove in Jeimer Candelario with a triple to right-center, only to be gunned down at home plate as he attempted to complete an inside-the-park home run. The Twins would quickly answer back off of Matthew Boyd as Robbie Grossman delivered an RBI single to tie the game, followed by a two-run shot from Tyler Austin to expand the Twins’ lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the first. A Johnny Field solo homer would open a further 4-1 advantage in the next inning.
RBI singles from Niko Goodrum and James McCann would close the gap to 4-3 in the third and a sacrifice fly from Stewart would bring them level an inning later. This would be short-lived, as Field would launch a two-run home run, his second of the game, to put the Twins back on top.
Minnesota would tack on five more runs in the fifth inning on a Chris Gimenez two-RBI single and a bases-clearing, three-run triple from Gregory Polanco. The Tigers offense failed to recover after this as the Twins cruised to victory.
Stumbling to the finish
After a rough outing against the Kansas City Royals in his last start, Boyd’s struggles continued during his last start of the 2018 season. Over 3 2/3 innings of work he was tagged for six runs (all earned) on eight hits, three of them home runs. He would also surrender two walks while striking out three batters.
As it turns out, it’s not exactly uncommon to see Boyd struggle as things close out.
Boyd's final start, last 3 years:— Chris McCosky (@cmccosky) September 27, 2018
--2015 at Texas, six runs on seven hits (three home runs) in 2.2 innings.
--2016 against the Royals, didn’t record an out, giving up five hits and four runs.
--2017 at Minnesota, five runs on seven hits (two homers) in five innings.
Despite some solid performances out of the bullpen in September, tonight was not one of those nights. Sandy Baez and Zac Reininger surrendered a combined five runs (only one earned, courtesy of Reininger) and walked four batters over a combined 2 1⁄3 innings of work. However, Buck Farmer and Daniel Stumpf, however, were able to prevent further damage, each pitching a scoreless inning.
The Tigers wrap up their American League schedule with tomorrow’s rubber game at Target Field in Minneapolis. First pitch is slated for 8:10 p.m ET as Francisco Liriano, making what could be his final appearance as a Tiger, faces a yet to be determined starter for the Twins. You can watch on Fox Sports Detroit or tune in to your local affiliate of the Detroit Tigers radio network.
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