Minneapolis – The Tigers have come from behind to win baseball games 11 times this season. But there was no comeback coming on Monday.
The Twins scored four times in the third inning and beat the Tigers 6-2, winning four out of five games this holiday weekend at Target Field.
It’s getting a little dire now for the Tigers. With 21 games left, they will have to string some wins soon to get back in legitimate contention for a wild-card spot. At 18-21, the Twins (26-17), Yankees (21-19) and Orioles (19-21) are ahead of them, and they are in danger of falling behind the Mariners (18-22).
Going back to his previous start, Michael Fulmer took a five-inning scoreless streak into the third inning Monday. With one out, he got two quick strikes on the Twins’ No. 9 hitter, catcher Ryan Jeffers. Nothing much went right from that point on.
BOX SCORE: Twins 6, Tigers 2
Fulmer threw three non-competitive pitches to run the count full. Then he fired a 93-mph sinker that Jeffers destroyed. The ball left his bat with an exit velocity of 111 mph and traveled 437 feet, banging off the vines beyond the center-field wall.
For a first career home run, that one was a keeper.
Fulmer didn’t record another out. Lamont Wade Jr. hit a popup behind third that rookie Isaac Paredes circled and lost. It dropped for a double. After a walk and a single, Fulmer left a bases-loaded, one-out mess for lefty Daniel Norris.
Eddie Rosario hit a line shot that caromed off the bag at first and bounded into the right-field corner. Three runs scored.
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More than enough cushion for right-hander Michael Pineda.
Making his second start since returning from a suspension (violation of MLB substance abuse policy), he cruised through six innings, allowing just two hits – a double by Jeimer Candelario and an RBI single by Willi Castro in the fourth.
With a misty rain falling, the Tigers nicked him for another run in the seventh. Again, it was Candelario instigating things. He laced his second double, in almost the exact same spot, down the line in left, and scored on a groundout by Jorge Bonifacio.
Since Aug. 2, 31 games, Candelario is hitting .359 with nine doubles, three triples and four home runs.
But, the day after banging out 17 hits Sunday, the Tigers managed just three on this day. Miguel Cabrera’s 13-game hit streak was a casualty.
Byron Buxton finished the scoring for the Twins, bashing a 416-foot home run to left off reliever Rony Garcia.