After winning the first game of the series by a 7-1 score, the Minnesota Twins returned to the field against the Detroit Tigers looking for their third win in a row, which would help them out in the Wild Card race where they were only a game back of the Texas Rangers coming into play.
Last night the Twins scored in the first inning to grab an early lead, but tonight Detroit flipped the script as they put up a crooked number to gain an edge.
The Tigers got their scoring in the first started when Victor Martinez singled to center field to score Ian Kinsler and advance J.D. Martinez to third base. Nick Castellanos then singled to right field, which allowed Martinez to score. The Tigers very well could have continued the scoring, but Martinez got thrown out trying to advance to third for the final out of the inning.
The Twins sent Phil Hughes to the mound after activating him from the disabled list earlier in the day, and he struggled. In only three innings of work, Hughes gave up three runs on six hits.
Detroit tacked on another run in the second inning when Anthony Gose singled to left field to score James McCann and extend the lead to 3-0 in favor of Detroit. The Twins responded in the bottom of the inning when Kurt Suzuki singled to left field to score Eddie Rosario and cut the lead to 3-1.
Hughes was on a strict pitch count, since he had just been activated from the DL earlier in the day, and it reached 65 by the end of the third inning. He would be removed from the game in favor of right-hander A.J. Achter, who went two innings and only gave up two hits on 20 pitches.
In the sixth inning, Detroit put another run on the board when Victor Martinez singled to right field to score J.D. Martinez and extend the lead to 4-1. The Twins would respond in the bottom of the seventh inning when Miguel Sano stepped up to the plate after two beautiful bunts by Byron Buxton and Aaron Hicks, and a walk by Joe Mauer to load the bases. Sano then singled to left field to score Buxton and Hicks to cut the lead down to 4-3.
In the top of the ninth, Detroit got one of those runs back when Andrew Romine hit a sacrifice bunt that was fielded by Brian Dozier who threw to first to retire Romine, but the throw allowed Tyler Collins to score to make it a two run lead for Detroit.
The Tigers then brought in right-hander Bruce Rondon to pitch the ninth inning and close the door. Brian Dozier drew a walk with two outs in the inning, and advanced to second on defensive indifference. Joe Mauer doubled to left center to score Dozier and bring the Twins within a run. Unfortunately for Twins fans, the rally would stop there as Miguel Sano would strike out to end the game, giving Rondon his fifth save of the season.
The two teams will play the third and final game of the series on Wednesday. For that game, the Twins will send right-hander Ervin Santana (5-4, 4.73 ERA) to the mound, while Detroit will counter with left-hander Daniel Norris (2-2, 4.43 ERA). That game is scheduled for an 8:10 PM EST first pitch on Wednesday night.
Win: Alfredo Simon (13-9, 4.91 ERA)
Loss: Phil Hughes (10-9, 4.58 ERA))
Save: Bruce Rondon (5)