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Tigers 3, Twins 2: Outstanding Olson

The young pitcher had an incredible outing against AL Central rivals.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s game was pretty evenly paced, which isn’t an ideal thing to say when it’s the Tigers facing off against another mid-performing AL Central team, but these two clubs looked pretty evenly matched through the night. As an overview, Reese Olson was surprising, as he managed to cruise through most of the Twins’ lineup and make it look easy, but the Twins found weaknesses in the later innings and took advantage.

Let’s break it all down.

Olson started off with a 1-2-3 inning, and in the bottom half of the first the Tigers had only one baserunner in the form of a Kerry Carpenter single.

Onto the second and Olson allowed only a one-out walk to Max Kepler, but got out of the inning scoreless. The Tigers, meanwhile, had a really hot second inning. Nick Maton singled, but was eliminated by a fielder’s choice off the bat of Andy Ibanez. Miguel Cabrera walked, and then an Eric Haase single brought Ibanez home. Jake Marisnick singled, and a Zach McKinstry single then scored both Cabrera and Haase putting the Tigers up 3-0 at the end of two.

Ryan Jeffers started off the third with a single, but Olson plowed through the next three batters with ease. The Tigers were likewise up and down in quick succession in the bottom of the inning. Olson continued to dominate in the fourth, going through the order, and then in the bottom of the inning the Tigers had a one-out single from Haase but no runs scored.

In the fifth, Olson again allowed a leadoff single, this time to Royce Lewis, but collected the next three outs. Spencer Torkelson got his own leadoff single in the bottom of the inning, but the Tigers were not able to capitalize.

A really fine outing for Olson had its first hiccup in the sixth as he allowed a one-out home run to Carlos Correa. He then allowed a single to Alex Kirilloff, and that was it for Olson for the night. His final line was 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HR on 88 pitches. With the obvious home run aside, it was a really nice night for Olson. Jose Cisnero came out to finish off the inning with a double play. The Tigers went 1-2-3 at bat in the bottom of the inning.

Chasen Shreve was next out of the pen for the Tigers, and with two outs, allowed a home run to Joey Gallo. A.J. Hinch was quick with the trigger tonight, pulling Shreve immediately and bringing in Jason Foley. Foley gave up a double to Ryan Jeffers but was able to end the inning without allowing additional runs to score. In the bottom half the Tigers’ bats were once again silent.

Foley continued in the eighth. Correa got a one-out single, followed one out later by a Castro single, and that was it for Foley, as Hinch turned to Lange for a four-out save (he hoped). Solano reached on an error from Maton, because I guess we needed to keep this interesting? Bases loaded. Lange did manage the next out, thank goodness, with a breath of relief for us all.

Carpenter kicked off the bottom of the eighth with a walk, and Matt Vierling came out to run for him. With one out, Jose De Leon came out in relief and almost immediately injured himself on a warmup pitch, leaving the game before facing a single batter. A Maton single wasn’t enough to put the Tigers further ahead, and they were going to have to count on Lange to get things done in the ninth.

Lange had been sitting quite some time with the two pitching changes, and he definitely looked a bit off coming back in. Jeffers got a one-out walk, then Lange got the next two walks (although whoever was running the lights got a bit trigger-happy before the final strike.)

Tigers win.

Final: Tigers 3, Twins 2