Tigers pile on the runs again, survive late Twins rally to earn series sweep with 8-5 victory

On Thursday, the Detroit Tigers had a chance to go for their second road sweep of the Minnesota Twins this season, their eighth straight win at Target Field, and their fourth win in a row overall.

On the bump for Detroit was lefty Daniel Norris (1-2, 3.81 ERA), who has pitched well his last four times out to give his team a chance to win, but the Tigers have lost each of those last four starts. On the other side was Twins rookie Jose Berrios (2-3, 9.28 ERA), making just his ninth major league start in 2016. The Tigers ambushed him for seven ER over just 0.2 IP back on May 16 at Comerica Park.


INNINGS 1 – 3

Detroit wasted a pair of one-out base on balls in the 1st inning. Minnesota got a two-out single from Robbie Grossman off Norris but nothing came of it.

Detroit got the scoring started in the 2nd. Justin Upton walked to lead off the inning and stole second in the next at-bat. After a single from James McCann two batters later to put runners on the corners, Andrew Romine hit one sharply at second that Brian Dozier could not field cleanly. Upton scored to make it 1-0, McCann advanced to third and Romine to second on a throwing error. Then it was Ian Kinsler doubling to left center, plating two to make it 3-0. The Twins in the 2nd again wasted a two-out single.

The Tigers tacked on more in the 3rd. Victor Martínez led off with a base hit, advanced to second on a ground out and then to third on an infield single from Casey McGehee. Then it was McCann coming through with two outs, crushing one to dead center for a three-run jack, making it 6-0 Tigers.

Norris put down the Twins in order in the 3rd.

(THRU 3: DET LEADS 6-0)


INNINGS 4 – 6

Detroit put two more runners on in the 4th, both again via the base on balls but nothing came of it. Norris in the home half recorded another 1-2-3 frame.

James McCann doubled to left center for his third knock of the game with two outs, but the Tigers were unable to capitalize. Norris again was able to put down the Twins in order, at this point he had retired ten straight batters.

The youngster Berrios was done after five innings and charged with six runs (five ER). Twins reliever Michael Tonkin came in and hit Kinsler to lead off the frame and walked Tyler Collins, his third base on balls of the game. Two batters later, Victor Martínez doubled deep to center that allowed both Kinsler and Collins to score, making it an 8-0 Tigers lead.

A double from Brian Dozier with one out in the bottom of the 6th snapped a streak of 11 straight set down by Norris. He scored two batters later on a single from Robbie Grossman, giving the Twins their first run of the game.

(THRU 6: DET LEADS 8-1)


INNINGS 7 – 9

New Twins reliever Taylor Rogers came on in the 7th inning. He hit Casey McGehee to lead off the frame but erased that by getting McCann to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. Andrew Romine doubled in the next AB but he was stranded.

The Twins were able to tack another on Norris in the 7th. Miguel Sanó doubled to lead off the inning, followed by ground out to advance him to third and then Eduardo Escobar singled in Sanó to make it 8-2. That signaled the end for Daniel Norris: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 5 K). In came lefty Kyle Ryan to get the final two outs.

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Minnesota in the 8th brought in reliever No. 3, Brandon Kintzler. He was able to work around a two-out double from Victor Martínez. Kyle Ryan went back out in the home half of the 8th. He surrendered a one-out triple Jorge Polanco, who scored on a Grossman ground out in the next AB, making it 8-3. A walk to Trevor Plouffe and double to Sanó ended Ryan’s night and in came Justin Wilson. He allowed a double to Max Kepler that scored Plouffe and Sanó, and all of a sudden it was an 8-5 game.

Twins rookie J.T. Chargois was the fourth reliever used by Minnesota in the 9th. Detroit got one-out singles from McGehee and McCann off the youngster but induced a 4-6-3 double play from Romine to end the inning. Tigers closer Francisco Rodríguez came on for save No. 35 on the season and needed just 14 pitches to record a 1-2-3 9th, sealing a series sweep for the Tigers.


ADDITIONAL GAME NOTES

UP NEXT

The Tigers head home for six games beginning with a weekend series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The bottom dwellers in the American League West Division still have superstar Mike Trout and RBI machine Albert Pujols, but their pitching staff is among the worst in baseball and has been decimated with injuries.

Detroit will give the ball to Justin Verlander (13-7, 3.38 ERA). He’s allowed three ER or fewer in each of his last ten starts and gone at least seven innings in six of those ten. The Angels will counter with former Twin Ricky Nolasco (4-11, 5.22 ERA). He has a 5.70 ERA in four starts since being dealt to Anaheim, but has a 2.45 ERA in two previous starts vs. the Tigers this season.

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