Hey, this game was kind of fun! The Tigers remembered that scoring runs is enjoyable for everyone involved.
Beau Brieske was serviceable, with a mix of “oh no” moments and “Hey that was a nine-pitch inning” moments. Luckily the Twins were relying on Dylan Bundy, who was equally mixed in his performance, meaning this was a type of pitchers’ duel, inasmuch as it was a “Who will fall apart first” scenario.
In the first, Brieske started things off with a leadoff walk to Arraez, who was quickly erased by a double play, and then the Twins went scoreless back to their dugout. The Tigers didn’t fare any better in the bottom of the inning, not getting a single baserunner.
In the second, the leadoff man struck again, this time with a Sanchez solo home run to give the Twins the first run of the game. Larnach then drew a walk, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A fielder’s choice erased Larnach, then Miranda got a single. No additional runs scored for the Twins, though. In the bottom of the inning with two outs, Willi Castro was hit by pitch to gain a base, but no runs scored.
Polanco was the sole baserunner for the Twins in the top of the third, reaching on a two-out single, but no one brought him home. In the bottom of the third, Hill hit a one-out solo home run. Schoop got a single in the inning, but no additional Tigers crossed home plate.
Onto the top of the fourth and Urshela singled, followed by a Miranda home run, and I finally got to make a “Miranda did not throw away his shot” joke. Those two runs put the Twins back in the lead, up 3-1. The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as the Tigers apparently decided hitting balls and scoring runs is a good thing. Candelario hit a leadoff single, then a perfectly placed Torkelson double scored Candy. Willi Castro singled to center to bring Tork home and tie the game at 3-3.
The Twins went down in order in the top of the fifth. Schoop got a two-out double in the bottom of the inning, his 1000th career hit, then Candelario singled to bring him home, giving the Tigers the lead.
Unfortunately, the lead didn’t hold. Brieske had a fine start to the sixth, getting two outs with some excellent assistance from his fielders. Then Urshela hit a solo home run, tying things up again, and chasing Brieske from the game. His final line for the day was 5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 3 HR on 91 pitches. Not great, but also really not bad for the most part. Joe Jimenez came on in relief. Jimenez got the one out he needed, thank goodness. Hill was the only baserunner for the Tigers in the bottom of the sixth, with a two-out single.
Jimenez continued on pitching in the seventh, and but for an infield single to Arraez, had a really solid inning, no runs scored. The bottom of the seventh was huge for the Tigers, though. Schopp kicked it off with a leadoff triple, but was erased in a fielder’s choice off the bat of Candelario. Torkelson then got an infield single and thanks to an error from Miranda, Tork advanced to second and Candelario scored. Then a Castro single scored Torkelson and the Tigers were up 6-4.
With Lange on the mound, Sanchez got a one-out single in the top of the eighth, then Urshela doubled to score Sanchez, with a little help from a Castro fielding error. In the bottom of the eighth Hill kicked things off with a solo home run, but then he didn’t as the very confusing call on the field was eventually ruled a foul, and he went back to get himself a single, then advanced to second on a passed ball. Baez then singled, and this time Hill did score. The run scored was attributed to an error from Miranda, who was pulled off the bag at first.
In the top of the ninth Gordon got an infield single off Soto to lead things off. Then Buxton came in from the bench, but did not prove to be the Twins’ hero in this instance. The inning ended with no last-minute scoring from the Twins and the Tigers got themselves a nice victory.