MINNEAPOLIS — Robbie Grossman said before Monday’s game that he isn’t where he wants to be with his hitting. As he watched his game-tying two-run homer soar into the night sky at his old home park, Target Field on Monday night, he was a little closer.
On a night when Miguel Cabrera’s 495th career home run ignited what looked like a dormant Detroit offense, Grossman’s pinch-hit drive helped give the Tigers new life before Max Kepler’s 10th-inning RBI single sent the Tigers to their eighth consecutive road loss with a 6-5 defeat.
Grossman had a rare day out of the Tigers’ lineup Monday following a 1-for-11 series in Kansas City. The weekend struggles dropped his average to .226, which would be a career low for him. Despite one of the best walk rates and lowest chase rates in the game, he isn’t doing as much as he can with the pitches he hits. His 35.2 percent hard-hit rate is down from last year’s abbreviated season, according to Statcast, as is his 88.4 mph average exit velocity.
Part of his struggles have come from a 36.8 percent fly-ball rate that is by far the highest of his career. When he stepped off the bench and hit the first pitch he saw from Twins reliever Alex Colomé, however, his loft carried out to right and into the overhang seats.