Like many of our friends throughout the SB Nation network, we are simulating the 2020 MLB season with MLB The Show 20. While we are unable to stream the games as they would otherwise be happening, we will try to get ahead of the curve and post about the games on the same day they would have taken place. Or, you know, at least get them back on schedule. Now, onto the recap!
Jeimer Candelario hit a double and a home run, and the simulated Detroit Tigers overcame three Minnesota Twins home runs to take a 6-5 victory at Target Field on Sunday — well, in the video game, at least.
The Tigers got on the board in the first, but were left wanting for more. Victor Reyes and Harold Castro led off the game with singles, and Miguel Cabrera walked to load the bases with no outs. Christin Stewart, playing in his first game in nearly a week after a minor shoulder injury, grounded into a double play. A run scored, but the twin-killing snuffed out a promising rally. C.J. Cron walked, but Niko Goodrum flew out to end the frame.
The Twins wasted little time getting the run back. Jorge Polanco hit a bloop single off Tigers starter Ivan Nova with one out. Nova struck out Nelson Cruz, but hung a fastball to cleanup Miguel Sano, who deposited it over the center field wall to give the Twins a 2-1 lead.
After coming away empty in the next few innings, the Tigers struck back for three runs in the fifth. Candelario led off the inning with a double, his sixth of the year. Austin Romine followed with a bloop double that glanced off Nelson Cruz’s glove, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Two pitches later, Dawel Lugo lined a fastball into the left-center gap for the Tigers’ third consecutive double to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. Twins starter Kenta Maeda nearly got out of the inning without any further damage, but Miguel Cabrera lined a single into center to score Lugo, putting Detroit up 4-2.
Unfortunately, more shoddy Tigers fielding helped the Twins tie the score in the bottom half of the inning. Ivan Nova retired the first two hitters of the frame in short order, but Max Kepler kept things alive with a single to right. Byron Buxton — why is it always Byron Buxton? — hit a pitch off the left field wall that eluded both Reyes and Stewart, resulting in an inside-the-park home run.
The Tigers struck back quickly in the sixth. C.J. Cron singled off reliever Homer Bailey to open the frame, and Candelario continued his big day with a mammoth home run to right field, giving the Tigers a 6-4 lead.
While it didn’t feel like it at the time, that would be all the scoring the Tigers needed in this one. Michael Fulmer gave up a solo home run to Jorge Polanco after coming on in the bottom of the sixth, but otherwise fought off some iffy command to maintain the lead. Joe Jimenez worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his second save of the year.