GAME ONE: MINNESOTA 12, DETROIT 4
Truth be told, I did not get the chance to see this one, and it would seem I am better off for it. The Tigers gave up six in the second again, this time with Buck Farmer instead of Robbie Ray, and the game was pretty much over there. Kennys Vargas drove in five for Minnesota. The hero for the Tigers? Kyle Lobstein, who managed to eat 5.2 innings without letting things get too much further out of hand to save an already depleted bullpen from further overuse.
GAME TWO: DETROIT 8, MINNESOTA 6
Boy, did they need this one. For a while, it looked like they might not get it, too, as Justin Verlander looked wobbly in his return to the rotation, struggling to get his breaking ball past righties and falling behind 4-2 in the third. But the Tigers rallied to add one in the fifth and two in the sixth on a Eugenio Suarez bloop single. Nick Castellanos and Miguel Cabrera helped the Tigers add insurance runs in the 7th and 8th with singles and Blaine Hardy, Joba Chamberlain, and Joe Nathan – with his usual theatrics, allowing a run and bringing the tying run to the plate in what was a three run game – managed to pitch the 3.1 innings the Tigers needed to drag them over the line.
Believe it or not, the Tigers can clinch a winning road trip tomorrow, and Max Scherzer will not only be looking to pitch well, but to pitch well deep into the game to try and rescue the bullpen a bit.