The Twins' 17-14 loss to Detroit on Wednesday at Target Field was full of quirky statistics and records. For starters, the Twins became the first team in Major League Baseball history to out-homer their opponent by seven and still lose and the fifth team to hit seven home runs and lose.
"That was not your run-of-the-mill effort or game," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "There's a lot to talk about. Some of it was not so good, some of it was exceptional."
Ryan Jeffers' grand slam in the fourth inning was the second in as many days after fellow catcher Mitch Garver hit one Tuesday. It was the fifth time in club history that grand slams came in back-to-back games, and the first time two Twins catchers hit grand slams in the same season.
Miguel Sano hit a 473-foot bomb in the eighth that became the longest by a Twin this season and the fourth-longest since 2015.
Max Kepler and Brent Rooker hit back-to-back home runs for the second time this month. It was Kepler's fourth homer in nine games. Rooker, who was recalled from Class AAA St. Paul on Friday, has an OPS of 1.054 with six runs, eight hits and three home runs in his past seven games.
Not much happiness
Twins starter J.A. Happ pitched three innings Wednesday, plus an additional seven batters in the fourth, all of whom reached base. He threw 88 pitches and faced 23 hitters. He gave up 10 hits, four walks and struck out two.
The 38-year-old lefthander, in Minnesota on a one-year, $8 million contract, started the season well. In his first five games, Happ threw 28⅓ innings with six earned runs for a 1.91 ERA. In his past 14 starts, he has pitched 70 innings and allowed 68 earned runs. That's an ERA of 8.74.
It was the Twins' fifth series with the Tigers this season and Happ's fourth time pitching against them. Happ last faced Detroit two starts ago, when the Twins lost 7-0 at Comerica Park on July 18. He allowed all seven runs in that game.
"I've got to look at it as a challenge facing a team three out of four times having to be the same team," Happ said. "I failed to meet that challenge [Wednesday] for sure. But they've been tough, at least for me personally."
Baldelli said Garver, who was hit in the wrist by a pitch in the 10th inning of Tuesday's game, was not going to start Wednesday's game even before he was plunked. Imaging on Garver's wrist was negative, and Baldelli said Wednesday the catcher was dealing with some soreness and swelling.
"Regardless of how Mitch is doing physically, Mitch always says he's available," Baldelli said. "You almost have to just drag him off the field and make the decision for him because his mentality is always to be ready to play."
Baldelli said Hansel Robles, who left the mound Tuesday with heat-related illness after giving up the game-tying grand slam in the top of the ninth, was recovering fine.
Taylor Rogers, who left Monday's game with a middle finger sprain after throwing only five pitches, visited the doctor Wednesday and is awaiting a second opinion. He's on the 10-day injured list.