It was a tough night for the Detroit Tigers offense as they took on the first-place Minnesota Twins in the first game of the final series of the season at Comerica Park. Spencer Turnbull pitched his second straight strong outing, but late runs from the Twins turned the tide in favor of Minnesota. After scoring first, the Tigers’ bats weren’t able to build any momentum and they lost 4-2.
The game started on a high note for the Tigers, getting a run off Twins starter Jake Odorizzi in the first inning. Dawel Lugo smacked a one-out double to center field, and then Harold Castro hit a bunt single to move him over to third. Jeimer Candelario then hit a sacrifice fly to right field, and the Tigers had manufactured a one-run lead. That was all the Tigers would get from Odorizzi, as he would go on to throw six innings of one-run baseball with seven strikeouts.
Coming off one of his best starts of the season — in which he threw five innings of shutout baseball while striking out eight against the Cleveland Indians — Spencer Turnbull was stellar again. Through six innings, he was shutting out the Twins and had tallied five punchouts. He came out for the seventh, hoping to make it through seven for the first time since May 26.
Unfortunately, that’s when the game began to unravel for the Tigers. With the Tigers holding on to a 1-0 lead, Turnbull allowed hits to Jake Cave and LaMonte Wade to leadoff the inning, which was all Ron Gardenhire needed to see to make a move to the bullpen.
While the Tigers really don’t have many good options beyond Joe Jimenez in the bullpen, between his time in Seattle and Detroit, David McKay had somehow not allowed an inherited runner to score yet this season. Well, there’s a first time for everything; McKay allowed a hit to the first batter he saw in Willians Astudillo to plate both runs and give the Twins a 2-1 lead. Nick Ramirez relieved McKay and allowed another two runs, giving the Twins a three-run cushion the seventh.
In the eighth, doubles from Willi Castro and Lugo pulle the score to 4-2, but Harold Castro and Candelario left Lugo stranded at second to end the scoring threat. Taylor Rogers came on in the bottom of the ninth for the Twins to close it out, and earned his 29th save of the year en route to giving the Tigers their 110th loss of the season.
While the Tigers weren’t able to pull out a victory, there was a very good boy in the crowd who did have a winning effort. This special pupper brought us all the highlights from Tuesday night that we needed.