Twins, Tigers close out extended series
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Twins try to keep their offense revved up as they close out a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field Sunday afternoon.
After putting up a season-high 20 runs and 20 hits on Friday in the series opener, the Twins continued their offensive barrage with another 18 runs over two games on Saturday and while they posted a convincing 12-4 victory in the first half of the doubleheader, the second game was not quite as favorable as the team took the 8-6 loss.
In the first contest of the day, Kennys Vargas delivered a pair of doubles for Minnesota as he knocked in five runs, while Jordan Schafer and Joe Mauer both plated three runs as well. Brian Dozier, who had one hit and walked three times, accounted for three runs himself.
"It's fun," Mauer said after the win. "I've been on both sides of those -- and it's a lot more fun on our side. Hopefully, we can keep it going. Guys are having good at-bats up and down the lineup. When that happens, it's a lot of fun."
Minnesota starter Yohan Pino was credited with the win as he surrendered four runs -- one earned -- on six hits and two walks, while striking out six over five innings of action.
Buck Farmer was charged with the loss, his first of the season, after he was pelted for seven runs on five hits and two walks in a mere 1 1/3 innings. Farmer did strike out three, but that made little difference for a Detroit team which is currently three games out of first in the American League Central, trailing the Kansas City Royals of all teams.
Ezequiel Carrera and Nick Castellanos both had two hits for the Tigers in the early bout.
Game Two saw the Tigers offense with much more bite, producing 17 hits, three each from Torii Hunter, Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez. A total of six Detroit players had at least two hits in the contest, while Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez each had two RBI in the triumph.
Justin Verlander managed to even his record at 11-11 even as he allowed four runs on eight hits, walking three and striking out six, over the course of 5 2/3 innings. Joe Nathan notched his 27th save after giving up one run on a pair of hits late.
"We needed this one," Verlander said. "We definitely needed to win this one, especially the way we lost our last couple, pretty demoralizing losses. And me coming into this game, I knew that [the Twins] were going to be locked in."
Trevor May was saddled with the loss for Minnesota, a team which is now all alone at the bottom of the AL Central. May was pummeled with 11 hits and five runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Offensively, Trevor Plouffe produced three hits and two RBI, while Dozier added a pair of doubles and scored twice in the setback.
Expecting to get back into the win column for just the second time in the last five outings, Max Scherzer is set to take the hill for the Tigers this afternoon.
The right-hander, who has recorded 34 strikeouts in his last three appearances, is hoping to become one of only a handful of players with 15 wins on the season when he sizes up the Twins.
On Tuesday Scherzer went up against Tampa Bay on the road and ended up without a decision yet again, even through he allowed only four runs on four hits and three walks over seven innings.
Now in his seventh major league season, Scherzer has a record of 7-2 to go along with a 4.43 ERA in 13 all-time appearances versus Minnesota.
Going up against Scherzer this time around is right-hander Kyle Gibson, now in just his second season.
The Indiana native has won three of his last four decisions, although like his counterpart today he also failed to record a decision in his most recent outing on Tuesday. Against Cleveland at home, Gibson was charged with five runs on eight hits and a walk, while fanning four over 5 1/3 innings.
The 26-year old has a record of 1-1 and a 6.00 ERA in two career outings against the Tigers.
08/24 10:23:23 ET