The Tigers didn’t start things off too badly on Sunday afternoon, though Jordan Zimmermann didn’t look quite right off the hop, using almost 30 pitches in the first inning, including an RBI single to Eddie Rosario, and an RBI groundout to CJ Cron.
Things evened up quickly in the top of the second with a two-run tying shot from Gordon Beckham, filling in at second for Josh Harrison who was benched for the day with neck tightness.
There were few areas of positivity to note early on, outside the Beckham home run, but the key one was Ronny Rodriguez, who arrived at the park with hardly any time to spare ahead of the game, and then proceeded to make it seem like he was born to be in a major league roster with both a hit and a walk on his scorecard for the day. He also showed incredible heads up attention on his first hit of the day, turning a single into a double as Rosario fumbled with the ball briefly in the outfield.
Also worth mentioning is Jeimer Candelario, who has been slow to start the season, with two hits on the day.
Back to the negative, though...
Jordan Zimmermann was done after the third inning, throwing 54 pitches and giving up 8 hits and five runs. Beyond the two earlier ones, he also gave up the go ahead RBI double to Byron Buxton in the bottom of the second, and a two-run home run to CJ Cron in the bottom of the third, ending his day.
Daniel Norris came on to pitch three innings of his own and while he seemed to struggle with locating the strike zone and his velocity was... diminished... he allowed only a single run in his three innings.
Unfortunately it was a solo home run to Rosario.
Then there was the Twins defense, robbing the Tigers of extra base hits throughout the game, including this unbelievable Byron Buxton catch.
Goodness gracious, Byron Buxton pic.twitter.com/BMR4txTY7P— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) April 14, 2019
Reed Garrett did fine in one inning of work. There’s not much to say about his performance, I’m just mentioning it because it happened.
Things got a little better in the top of the eighth with a Christin Stewart RBI double, cutting the Twins lead down to 6-3 with two runners on the base and knocking Trevor May out of the game. John Hicks continued a miserable day with another strikeout, but Grayson Greiner continued to chip away at the Twins lead with an RBI single to score Miguel Cabrera.
Then Dustin Peterson was hit by a pitch (the second HBP of the day), loading the based for Ronny Rodriguez, but the Tigers ended up running out of luck in the eighth.
Victor Alcantara came on to pitch in the bottom of the eighth and looked really sharp shutting down the Twins in order.
JaCoby Jones got on base to lead off the ninth inning, then Candelario was walked, putting two men on for Miguel Cabrera, who struck out. Then a nine-pitch at-bat for Stewart ended in a walk to load the bases. Hicks struck out for the third time, chasing a pitch in the dirt and the Tigers were down to their last chance: Greiner.
Alas, it was a classic case of TTBDNS, and the Tigers were shut down 6-4.