DETROIT -- On the final Bark in the Park night of the season at Comerica Park, Ron Gardenhire was looking for a little more growl from his Tigers.The Tigers manager has been pleased with his team's hustle for most of the season, including winning two of three from the Indians
DETROIT -- On the final Bark in the Park night of the season at Comerica Park, Ron Gardenhire was looking for a little more growl from his Tigers.
The Tigers manager has been pleased with his team's hustle for most of the season, including winning two of three from the Indians this past weekend. Whether it was a late break from starter Jordan Zimmermann to cover first base, or quick at-bats from his hitters against Twins "opener" Gabriel Moya and Kohl Stewart, Monday's 6-1 loss left Gardenhire disappointed afterward.
"We just had a bad night tonight. We didn't do things right," Gardenhire said. "We didn't play the game the way we've been playing it, and those poor at-bats led to exactly what you saw out there, not very many hits and a loss that went absolutely nowhere for us. Disappointing for me, because I'm watching all these at-bats. I'm sure it's disappointing for [hitting coach Lloyd McClendon]. We have to be better than that.
"You have to concentrate a little bit better. You have to know situational baseball. You're down 5-1 in the eighth inning and you're up there, and it's two balls and no strikes leading off the inning, and you swing and tap a ball to third base off the end of the bat? That's not good enough."
That at-bat came from leadoff hitter Jeimer Candelario to begin the eighth against Tyler Duffey. But Detroit had other quick outs throughout the game on the way to six innings of three-hit ball against Stewart (2-1), avenging the loss the Tigers handed him in his Major League debut at Comerica Park on Aug. 12. The lone run off Stewart was unearned when Eddie Rosario collapsed to the ground with a right quad injury while fielding Jim Adduci's fourth-inning single to left field, leaving him trying to roll the ball to center fielder Jake Cave as Nicholas Castellanos rounded third base.
By that point, the Twins had a comfortable lead thanks to a four-run, six-hit fourth inning to chase Zimmermann (7-8). Cave, Ehire Adrianza and Joe Mauer hit RBI singles up the middle off Zimmermann, who yielded seven hits over 3 2/3 innings and fell to his second consecutive defeat and third consecutive home loss.
The last hit off Zimmermann was an infield single that bounced over first baseman Adduci's outstretched glove. Second baseman Dawel Lugo fielded it but had to wait for Zimmermann to get to first base, allowing Jorge Polanco to beat the throw.
"I think he was frustrated. So was I," Gardenhire said. "I don't like to see that kind of thing. You still have a job to do. He just didn't get over there for whatever reason, but it was the damage before that, that's why he came out of the game."
Zimmermann acknowledged it immediately after the game.
"I gave up a lot of hits," he said, "but the one thing that frustrates me the most in the fourth is probably me not getting over to cover first. Throughout my career, I've prided myself on being a good defender on the mound and doing things the right way. For whatever reason, I thought I had plenty of time to get over there, and took my time a little bit. It really, really frustrates me. We have a young team, and I'm here trying to teach these guys how to do things the right way and then I don't cover first base. It's not a good look."
Mauer, who could be paying his final visit to Comerica Park if he retires at season's end, has 64 career RBIs at the Tigers' home field, most of any visiting player since the ballpark opened in 2000.
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The Gardenhire family had a moment before the game when Ron exchanged lineup cards at home plate with his son, Toby, who's coaching with the Twins for this series after leading their Class A Cedar Rapids team to the Midwest League playoffs this year. Father and son took a photo with the umpiring crew at home plate to note the occasion.
"It was a nice moment," Ron Gardenhire said. "Toby was there, and my family was all up [in the stands] watching. It's nice to see him up here. He's worked really hard and they've given him an opportunity to come up and sit for a few days here in Detroit. I appreciate the fact that they set it up like they did. That's pretty cool. It was nice, him getting the ground rules. You know what, hopefully someday he'll get in the big leagues as a coach or something over there, and maybe they'll throw him out of the game and he'll really appreciate it."
Daniel Norris (0-4, 6.14 ERA) will make his sixth start of the season in search of his first win as the Tigers' series against the Twins continues Tuesday with a 7:10 p.m. ET game at Comerica Park. Jake Odorizzi (6-10, 4.41), who took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning in his last start, gets the ball for the Minnesota.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.