After retiring six of the first seven batters, Kyle Lohse lost his control, his composure and, possibly, his starting role as the Twins try to solve pitching woes.
DETROIT - Another change could be coming for the Twins' starting pitching rotation after the way Kyle Lohse pitched and acted in the team's 7-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
This time, instead of demoting a pitcher to the bullpen with a heavy heart -- as they did Monday with Carlos Silva -- the Twins could demote Lohse out of anger.
It was one thing to turn a 3-0 lead into a 5-3 deficit during the third inning against the Tigers. It was another to break one of pitching coach Rick Anderson's rules.
Lohse did this when he retreated to the clubhouse after being removed from the game, instead of remaining on the bench to pull for his teammates for the rest of the third inning.
"It'll be addressed," Anderson said.
Lohse wasn't around to answer the questions himself. After the game, he walked past reporters and left Comerica Park without comment.
Asked where Lohse's confidence was after falling to 2-4 with a team-worst 8.92 ERA, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, "You probably have to talk to him, but you can't because he left. So that's where his confidence is."
In three starts against the Tigers this season, Lohse is 0-3 with a 13.14 ERA.
This time, the Tigers overcame a rough start for Nate Robertson (4-2) and won their fifth consecutive game to move into a first-place tie with the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central.
This is the first time the Tigers have held first place this late in the season since 1993, which was also the last year they had a winning record.
As the Tigers celebrated that achievement, the Twins were left to ponder the continuing struggles of every starting pitcher not named Johan Santana.
Is Lohse headed to the bullpen?
Said Gardenhire: "We're killing our bullpen right now, and obviously we're going to have to look at all kinds of options, so we'll see. ... [We] don't have enough time after a ballgame to try to decipher everything that's going on."
After retiring six of the first seven Detroit hitters, Lohse stumbled badly after the Twins had extended their lead with two runs in the top of the third inning.
The Tigers scored five runs that inning, with the final blow for Lohse being a three-run double by Chris Shelton.
Right fielder Michael Cud- dyer ran toward center trying to make a sprawling catch, but the ball deflected off his glove, and the ballpark pulsated, as the fans cheered another big hit from Shelton.
"You know what," Gardenhire said, "when you're standing out there for long innings like that, it's hard to get those jumps on the ball."
Anderson was upset with the way Lohse let his focus wane.
"You've still got to keep control of yourself," Anderson said. "That's part of being a major league pitcher, being in control of yourself. Don't let the situation control you."
|Minnesota - WP: C. Thielbar||7||FINAL|
|NY Yankees - LP: M. Banuelos||3|
|Stephen F Austin||85|
|Sam Houston St||69||FINAL|
|San Diego St||59|
|Utah Valley U||69|
|New Mexico St||69|
|Long Beach State||77|
|(22) Middle Tennessee||64|
|(25) Bowling Green||55|
|New Mexico St||65||FINAL|
|Coll of Charleston||70|