After a hit batter and walk with two outs in the seventh inning Tuesday night, Twins manager Paul Molitor popped out of the dugout to remove starter Lance Lynn, who was seconds away from getting a standing ovation for his best outing of the season.
That, however, was the last thing on his mind.
“It felt good until the end,” Lynn grumbled. “When you hit a guy and walk a guy, it really puts a damper on a pretty good outing up until then.”
And everyone on the mound — Molitor and the infielders who had assembled to congratulate him for a job well done — had to curb their enthusiasm.
“I made sure I went up there and said I know you’re disappointed in that,’ ” second baseman Brian Dozier said, ‘‘but you threw a hell of a game.”
Lynn yelled at himself as he left the mound. Yelled at himself as he reached his spot on the dugout bench. Yelled at the ground after that.
If that’s how he likes to beat himself up — demanding more, striving to throw clean innings every outing — the Twins will gladly take his yelling every time he throws a shutout for nearly seven innings. They might have to cover their ears.
Nevertheless, Lynn’s solid outing pushed the Twins to a 6-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers, allowing them to take the first two games of the three-game series at Target Field. They dealt Detroit their seventh shutout loss of the season and have held the Tigers to a .161 batting average in the series.
Lynn, during his 6⅔ innings of shutout ball, limited the Tigers to five hits and one walk while striking out four. He lowered his season ERA from 7.47 to 6.34.
And coming off Jose Berrios’ eight innings in Monday’s 4-2 victory, it’s the first time all season the Twins have had consecutive starts of at least 6⅔ innings from their rotation.
Molitor was most impressed with Lynn on a night in which a few players provided competition. Dozier hit two opposite-field doubles while driving in three runs. Ehire Adrianza also hit two doubles and drove in two runs. Byron Buxton added an RBI single and scored twice.
The game was scoreless until the fifth when Tigers starter Matthew Boyd left because of a left oblique spasm after walking the first two batters of the inning. The Twins immediately jumped on his replacement, Warwick Saupold, and scored three runs, including two on Dozier’s double. The Twins collected three doubles in the seventh, adding on three more runs.
It made the Lynn’s work hold up for his second victory in six decisions.
“Hopefully that righted the ship,” Lynn said, “and now I can get it going the right direction the rest of the year.”