Two innings in, the Twins were on their way to a blowout. And their pitcher was about to get his first win of the season.
Then Ervin Santana could not get through the fifth inning.
“You feel good when you get up by a half dozen early,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “Before you know it, you blink and it’s a one-run game. You just got to keep playing. Sometimes the same energy you have when you get behind to stay with it you gotta keep that when you are ahead too, because you never know when a game is going to turn.”
The Twins kept hitting. They got their blowout, setting a season high for runs in a 15-8 win over the Tigers. And a pitcher did get his first win of the season. Not Santana, but righthander Trevor May, who walked in two runs but did enough to win for first time since July 29, 2016.
The 15 runs were the most the Twins have scored in a game since July 12, 2017, when they scored 16 against the Padres.
In the middle of offensive surge, once again, was Logan Forsythe. Brian Dozier and his perfectly coifed hair might be in Hollywood, but Forsythe continues to put on a show with the Twins. On Thursday, he hit three singles and two doubles for the first five-hit game of this career. He’s hitting a ridiculous .449 since joining the Twins, and he helped power the machine that scored more runs against the Tigers in a single game than any opponent this season.
“I hope the guys are paying attention,” Molitor said. “Four hits to right and one up the middle.”
After his fifth hit of the night, a single to right in the seventh, Forsythe was replaced by a pinch runner and received a standing ovation by most of the 25,108 in attendance. Forsythe has raised his season batting average from .207 to .256 since joining the Twins.
Also enjoying a big night was Joe Mauer, who was 2-for-4 with three runs scored; Jorge Polanco, who was 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI; Miguel Sano, who was 2-for-4 with 3 RBI; and Ehire Adrianza, who belted a two-run home run. Every Twins starter reached base.
The only Twin left disappointed by Thursday’s events was Santana, whose fifth start since his return from right middle finger surgery provided more questions. Santana gave up seven runs on seven hits and three walks. He gave up three home runs. Mikie Mahtook and James McCann each hit home runs on pitches that were up in the zone while catcher Mitch Garver was set up at the knees.
“I felt good,” Santana said. “I didn’t have my good control the whole night so I had to battle the whole game.”
Santana has allowed nine home runs in five starts since his return from finger surgery. In less than a month, Santana is up to fifth among Twins pitchers in home runs allowed. His ERA rose to 8.03.
That put May, returning from Tommy John surgery that cost him all of 2017, into the game. He pitched two innings, benefited from a seven-run sixth that put the Tiger away, and got the win.
“Getting a win added next to my name, especially as a reliever, is I think less important than just wins in general,” May said.