Grossman’s HR lifts Tigers over Twins in G1

Detroit Tigers

DETROIT — The Tigers rebounded from last weekend’s four-game sweep in Minnesota with a 1-0 win over the Twins in the first game of Saturday’s split doubleheader at Comerica Park.

Compared to the back-and-forth slugfest in their last game Sunday at Target Field, the two teams put on a pitching duel to open the second half of their respective seasons. Tigers starter José Ureña tossed three scoreless innings before leaving with right groin tightness. Unlike last weekend, when Minnesota roughed up Detroit’s bullpen for the entire series, Daniel Norris, Kyle Funkhouser and Gregory Soto kept the Twins offense shut down, allowing Robbie Grossman’s first-inning home run to stand as the game’s lone run.

The Tigers held out Ureña from last weekend’s series in anticipation of him pitching the first game out of the All-Star break, allowing him to focus on his game without worrying about Twins hitters having a recent look at him. The right-hander had allowed 27 earned runs over 17 2/3 innings in his previous five starts, but shifted from his sinkerballing tendencies to a heavy dose of four-seam fastballs and sliders over 42 pitches. He still kept the homer-happy Twins in the park with six groundouts, including a pair of ranging plays from rookie shortstop Zack Short.

Grossman’s second leadoff homer of the season came off Charlie Barnes’ fifth Major League pitch. The Twins lefty was called up for the spot start in his big league debut and stymied Detroit from there with an array of offspeed offerings.

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