DETROIT – Anthony Gose hurled his glove to the turf in anger Tuesday night, and you can understand his fury. Thanks to his lousy throw to the plate, the Twins actually scored a run in Comerica Park.
It was all just wasted emotion, though, as Gose should have known — the Twins, even as one of baseball’s hottest teams, can’t score lately in this park — and two innings later, he bubbled over with jubilation. Ian Kinsler dropped a single into center field, Gose scored from second base and the Tigers handed the Twins their fourth loss in many games this year in their chamber of horrors, 2-1 in 10 innings.
“It’s disappointing when you feel like you have opportunities to score,” said Twins manager Paul Molitor, whose team was outscored 22-1 in three season-opening losses here last month. “We weren’t able to have as good at-bats with runners in scoring position as we have been lately, and left some opportunities out there.”
Second and third with nobody out in the second. A leadoff double in the fifth. A leadoff single and a stolen base in the sixth. Nothing came of any of them, so when Danny Santana’s deep drive to right missed a home run by 18 inches to lead off the eighth, forcing him to settle for a triple, you couldn’t blame Molitor for wondering how the Twins would kick this scoring chance away.
But “you turn the page,” Molitor said. “We only had a one-run deficit there, with [the top of the order] coming up. You hope you find a way.”
They did, barely. Brian Dozier hit a line drive to right that wasn’t deep enough to move Santana. Then it appeared that Torii Hunter had done the same when he blooped a pitch to Gose in shallow center. Santana decided to test Gose’s arm, however, and the throw was wide, missing the plate by 15 feet. Gose had a mini-tantrum in frustration as Santana crossed home plate to tie the score.
That was it for offense, though; the Twins might have outscored every team in baseball this month, but they could barely touch Alfredo Simon and his split-finger fastball.
Detroit, like everyone else lately, couldn’t do much against Kyle Gibson, however, so the game was tense throughout. The righthander extended his scoreless-innings streak to 20, but one pitch to J.D. Martinez ended that. Martinez bashed a first-pitch fastball into the right-field seats in the fourth inning, a solo home run that seemed like enough for much of the night.
“He’ll come out and ambush you,” Gibson said of Martinez, who has hit four of his team-high seven homers against the Twins this season. “One pitch, letting them kind of taking control of the game, it’s a little frustrating.”
The Twins foiled a couple of Detroit attempts at a rally, with Hunter making a running, shoe-top grab of a James McCann fly ball that would have ended the game in the ninth had it landed. Blaine Boyer, who kept his own scoreless-inning streak of 13 ⅓ intact, held his breath at first, “but I thought, ‘I’m glad Torii’s out there,’ ” he said. “I got inside [McCann] just enough and he got under it just enough, I knew it would hold in the air a little bit. And Torii was like Superman, coming in there to get it just in time. It was awesome.”
Only a brief respite, though.
The real frustration came in the 10th, when Gose drilled a Ryan Pressly fastball to the warning track in left-center with one out. Then Kinsler looped a curveball into right-center, leaving Aaron Hicks no chance to get Gose and setting off a celebration.
“It’s disappointing, but we’ve played them well,” third baseman Trevor Plouffe said. “I’m not worried about how we’ve played them. It’ll even out over the course of the year.”