The Minnesota Twins scored in each of the first four innings and knocked Edwin Jackson out in the third as they rolled to a 13-5 win over the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on Friday. Jackson gave up eight runs (six earned) on seven hits in just 2 1⁄3 frames to suffer his third consecutive loss.
The scoring came early and often on both sides in this one. Minnesota opened up with four runs in the top of the first, all of which scored before the Tigers even recorded an out. Max Kepler walked to open the game, then came around to score thanks to singles from Jorge Polanco and Nelson Cruz. Eddie Rosario singled to score Polanco, and then Cruz came home on a fielding error from shortstop Willi Castro. Luis Arraez, the sixth batter of the game, grounded into a fielder’s choice, which scored Rosario.
The Tigers did their best to keep pace in the bottom of the first. Victor Reyes led off the inning with a double, and Willi Castro singled, moving Reyes to third. After Harold Castro struck out, Reyes was picked off at first — it wasn’t a great inning for the rookie. Ronny Rodriguez came through with a two-out double, however, scoring Reyes. Rodriguez then came around to score on a single from Dawel Lugo, cutting Minnesota’s lead to 4-2.
The Twins poured it on from there, however. Kepler plated Jake Cave with an RBI double in the second, then scored on a sacrifice fly from Cruz to extend Minnesota’s lead back to four. After a Jake Rogers RBI double cut the lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the second, the Twins opened the third inning by loading the bases, chasing Jackson to the showers. Matt Hall did his best to limit the damage, but a pair of runs scored on a soft groundout and a passed ball by Rogers.
Hall’s luck didn’t get any better in the fourth. Polanco and Cruz singled to open the inning, and Polanco came around to score on a fielder’s choice that was hit too slowly to turn into a double play. That third out would have come in handy, as C.J. Cron hit a three-run home run with two outs to extend Minnesota’s lead to 12-3.
Things died down after that. John Hicks hit a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth, and then the two teams went scoreless for three innings. Lefthander Nick Ramirez had a solid outing out of the Tigers’ bullpen, throwing three scoreless frames with just one hit allowed. David McKay allowed a run in the top of the eighth on a pair of hits, but Ronny Rodriguez pulled one back with a solo home run in the bottom of the frame.
The Edwin Jackson experiment went as expected: Jackson enjoyed two solid outings to open his second stint with the Tigers, but has now surrendered 19 runs (16 earned) in his last three outings. He was able to eat five innings in his previous two starts, but couldn’t even save the bullpen in this one, recording just seven outs before departing.
The offense did its job: For as bad as Detroit’s lineup has been this year, they deserve credit when they get things right. The Tigers had their hitting shoes on in this one, recording five runs on 12 hits. They combined for four doubles and two home runs — both of which were solo shots, unfortunately. Now if they could just work on drawing some walks...
Ronny Rodriguez might be getting hot again?: Rodriguez’s numbers haven’t been extraordinary since his most recent call-up, but with two more hits in this game, his bat is starting to perk up. He is hitting .264 with a .509 slugging average and four home runs in the 14 games he has played since being recalled in mid-August (just ignore the two walks in 56 plate appearances).