Tigers crumble in late innings again vs. Twins

Detroit Tigers

MINNEAPOLIS — Jorge Polanco’s go-ahead three-run home run Saturday off Joe Jimenez cleared the right-field porch at Target Field with a 106.9 mph exit velocity, according to Statcast.

One inning later, Jonathan Schoop’s 117.1 mph leadoff double put him in position for the Tigers to answer, but couldn’t get him home. Any remaining possibility for Detroit to take momentum into the All-Star break arguably went with it.

What looked like an opportunity for the Tigers to creep closer to .500 against the last-place Twins this weekend has turned into three consecutive losses, all off middle to late-inning rallies. The latest Saturday was a 9-4 defeat in which the Twins scored nine unanswered runs off Detroit relievers, turning a surprisingly strong bullpen start into the Tigers’ first series loss since losing three of four to the Angels in mid-June.

The Tigers could still salvage a 3-4 road trip if they can take Sunday’s series finale. They’ll also open the season’s second half next weekend with these same Twins at home, plus a rematch against a Rangers club they beat twice in three games earlier this week in Texas. Detroit doesn’t have a team currently holding a winning record on its schedule until the Red Sox visit Comerica Park the first week of August.

However, this weekend shows the danger of facing struggling teams at the right time. The Tigers have held the Twins to one run over the first five innings in all three games so far this series, only to yield 17 runs from the sixth inning on.

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