DETROIT -- The Tigers probably wouldn't care to remember what their Tuesday night looked like. There was the loss of Jose Cabrera with a season-ending injury, and the bullpen giving up a two-out grand slam in the seventh. There was the offense struggling to put together timely rallies. Taken together, all three of
DETROIT -- The Tigers probably wouldn't care to remember what their Tuesday night looked like. There was the loss of Jose Cabrera with a season-ending injury, and the bullpen giving up a two-out grand slam in the seventh. There was the offense struggling to put together timely rallies. Taken together, all three of these factors cost the Tigers in a 6-4 loss to the Twins to open a three-game series at Comerica Park.
Before the injury and the grand slam, Blaine Hardy, making his sixth spot start in a Tigers rotation that has two starters on the disabled list, was again sensational. Hardy threw six innings, giving up two runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out five.
Cabrera, at the plate for his second at-bat in the third inning, swung at a 1-1 pitch and was immediately in pain. He clutched his left arm and walked off the field and into the clubhouse, where he got an MRI. After the game, the Tigers announced that Cabrera sustained a ruptured left biceps tendon, and will undergo season-ending surgery. Cabrera was playing in his 12th straight game since coming off the disabled list on June 1 with a right hamstring strain.
"Hopefully we can somehow get through this thing and get him back playing," said manager Ron Gardenhire. "We'll see what happens."
Gardenhire said John Hicks will move to first base and the Tigers will recall infielder Ronny Rodriguez.
The Tigers pushed across two runs in the fourth to claim a 2-1 lead. Jose Iglesias tripled down the right-field line to score Hicks. Two batters later, Leonys Martin, who crushed the ball all night but finished 0-for-3, hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Iglesias.
That lead held until the seventh inning, when the Tigers turned to their bullpen. Louis Coleman loaded the bases, but managed to get two outs. Detroit would have preferred to bring in a lefty to face the left-handed Ehire Adrianza, but there wasn't a healthy southpaw option in the bullpen. It was Warwick Saupold who got the call, and he proceeded to give up a grand slam to Adrianza, taking the Tigers from up, 2-1, to down, 5-2.
"We had it going pretty good," said Gardenhire. "We came in and walked some people and the game got away from us."
Joe Jimenez, the Tigers' usual eighth-inning pitcher, was in the bullpen and warming up in case the Tigers took the lead, but Gardenhire said he was not considering bringing him in to get that final out.
"He's the eighth-inning guy," said Gardenhire. "Understand that. I'm not going to [hurt] this kid. … I'm going to protect this young man. Tonight, we put a guy in there that was supposed to get through there, and he walked a couple guys."
Thanks to two errors in the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers did add two more runs. With two outs, JaCoby Jones legged out what might have been a single, but a bad throw from third baseman Eduardo Escobar allowed two runs to score. One of those runs was scored by Niko Goodrum, who reached on an error by Adrianza at shortstop.
With Goodrum's double to lead off the bottom of the fifth, the Tigers now have 149 doubles on the season. That's good for the Major League lead. The Tigers have hit doubles in 62 of 68 games this season.
HE SAID IT
"You can have this argument all you want. We've tried this a couple times. If we have a lead, yes, I would think about that. We've talked about that. I've done that earlier. But how many appearances does he already have where he goes multiple innings? You can't do that to this young man." -- Gardenhire, on not using Jimenez
The Tigers continue their three-game series against the division-rival Twins on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Comerica Park. Matthew Boyd (4-4, 3.20 ERA) will take the mound for Detroit. Boyd struggled to find the strike zone in his start against the Twins on May 22, as he walked four batters over four innings. Minnesota will start Jose Berrios (7-5, 3.66 ERA), who is coming off his second complete game of the season.
Tyler Fenwick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.