MINNEAPOLIS -- When Spencer Turnbull made his first Major League start last week, the Twins crashed his party and served the right-hander a blowout loss.On Tuesday, Turnbull faced the same lineup, but he found much more positive results as he tossed six strong innings and helped the Tigers to a
MINNEAPOLIS -- When Spencer Turnbull made his first Major League start last week, the Twins crashed his party and served the right-hander a blowout loss.
On Tuesday, Turnbull faced the same lineup, but he found much more positive results as he tossed six strong innings and helped the Tigers to a 4-2 win over the Twins at Target Field. Detroit's offense was held quiet by Minnesota righty Kohl Stewart for much of the night, but came to life in the eighth to deliver a comeback win.
Turnbull hammered the Twins with a mix of sinkers and four-seamers as he struck out five batters and racked up 13 swinging strikes on the night. Before he had a chance to settle in, though, Minnesota struck early to tally its lone run off him.
Joe Mauer led off the game with a hard-hit double to left field, and Jorge Polanco followed with a run-scoring double to center to put Detroit in an early hole. But Turnbull bounced back to strike out the side.
"I think after the first inning he was mad," Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He came in a little irritated with himself. After that, he really settled in. It started coming out of his hand. I guess he had a good talk with himself, because no one else did, and he went out with a vengeance. … A really, really good performance by him."
It wasn't totally smooth sailing from there for the 26-year-old -- he allowed a runner to reach in each of the next four innings -- but Turnbull worked around the traffic to limit the deficit to a single run.
"I feel really good," Turnbull said. "I feel like I got the monkey off my back now, for sure. Those first two -- I felt good facing Mauer. Had a good plan and knew what I wanted to do. Missed a couple pitches and ended up giving up a hit. … Gave up another one and then it starts to speed up a little bit. So I just tried to slow myself down."
Turnbull said he leaned on the experience of last Wednesday's outing against Minnesota -- when the Twins racked up six runs against him -- to help navigate his way out of trouble during Tuesday's rocky first inning. After Polanco's double, he endured a 10-pitch battle with Jake Cave before striking the Minnesota center fielder out.
"I think the most impressive part for me," Tigers catcher James McCann said, "was he had that rough outing that didn't go the way he wanted. Then, first two guys get him immediately -- bang, bang. I saw him take a step off the mound, take a deep breath and get back on there. … Cave made him work for it, but after he got that first strikeout, you could see him sort of say, 'Okay, I can do this.' "
Detroit broke through in the eighth when Harold Castro poked a leadoff single for his first Major League hit and later stole second base to put the tying run in scoring position. Christin Stewart then drew a one-out walk, and Nicholas Castellanos followed with a scorching single to the left-center-field gap to tie the game. Niko Goodrum then plated the go-ahead run with another single.
Later in the inning, McCann cracked a two-run double that proved to be crucial. The Twins answered with a rally of their own in the bottom of the eighth and Mauer singled and scored to cut the Detroit lead to 4-2. Minnesota loaded the bases with two outs against Joe Jimenez, but Alex Wilson came on and got John Forsythe to fly out and escape the jam.
Shane Greene pitched a scoreless ninth for his 32nd save.
HE SAID IT
"Those are great moments for him, for sure. For his family. I mean, he was sitting in Venezuela and all of a sudden we dragged him back out here for a week left in the season. Lucky for us, he got his first Major League hit. It's gotta be really exciting, he's waited a long time for this moment." -- Gardenhire on Castro
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
In the top of the eighth, Castro, serving as the tying run, attempted to steal second but was cut down by Minnesota catcher Willians Astudillo on a strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out play. The Tigers challenged the call, and after a brief review, the call was overturned and Castro was ruled safe a second. He would later score the tying run on Castellanos' single.
The Tigers will square off Wednesday with Minnesota for Game 2 of a three-game series at 8:10 p.m. ET at Target Field. Matthew Boyd (9-12, 4.16 ERA) will make his final start of the season for Detroit and try to bounce back from his last outing, which lasted just 1 1/3 innings. For the Twins, Jake Odorizzi (7-10, 4.35 ERA) will get the start.
*Jarrid Denney *is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.