Some late-night thoughts after the Twins' third consecutive game to last longer than 3 1/2 hours:
THEY HAD CHANCES: The Twins collected 11 hits and six runs, marking just the second time this year they have lost a game when they've scored a half-dozen. And there were a few moments when it appeared they were on the verge of pulling off a big comeback. Minnesota already had four runs in in the sixth inning when Sam Fuld came to bat. He had singled twice, meaning he's collected multiple hits in all three of his games with his new team, but this time, he struck out with a runner on second. An inning later, after Trevor Plouffe doubled in the Twins' sixth run, Chris Colabello looked at strike three -- a belt-high fastball on the inside corner, very much a borderline pitch -- with a 3-2 count, ending the inning. Would have been interesting to see Jason Kubel come up with two runners on. And in the eighth, the Twins had two on and two out, and Joba Chamberlain fell behind 3-1 to pinch-hitter Chris Herrmann. A walk there would have loaded the bases and brought up Brian Dozier, who already had homered, as the tying run. But Herrmann swung at a pitch drifting outside and popped it foul to end the threat. "One more big hit," shrugged manager Ron Gardenhire, "and we're right there."
RBIs ARE HIS SPECIALITY: Gardenhire was praising Kurt Suzuki after the game for producing runs when given opportunities; he twice drove in runs with sacrifice flies, and he extended that eighth-inning threat with a walk. "Some great at-bats. He's a very professional hitter, uses the whole field, takes counts deep," Gardenhire said of the Twins' new catcher. "We saw that when he was playing with Oakland." Suzuki now has 19 RBIs on the season, second only to Colabello's 27 on the Twins and among the top eight in the American League.
GOING SOLO: Meanwhile, Brian Dozier now has seven home runs on the season -- all of them with the bases empty. In fact, 24 of Dozier's 31 career homers have been solo shots. Gardenhire wishes he had a few more RBI chances. "That'd be nice, to figure out how to get some guys on for him at the bottom" of the lineup, Gardenhire said. "He keeps hitting them, though."
HAIL TO THE HEARTY: I salute the large majority of the 27,558 announced attendance at Target Field tonight who stuck around even after the Tigers took a 9-1 lead, and especially to the 7,500 or so who were still here at the end. It was a night that started chilly and ended cold -- the pressbox windows were closed about midway through -- and Twins fans had no particular reason to believe they could rally from an eight-run deficit. But plenty stayed, and even got loud at the end.