Pitchers Nolasco, Boyd battle as Twins fall to Detroit

DETROIT — Minnesota manager Paul Molitor shrugged off any attempt to connect Terry Ryan’s firing with the team’s punchless performance against Detroit.

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"I’m not going to put those two things together," Molitor said. "It is a tough day, and I suppose you could ask every individual, but I don’t think it had an impact. Once you get on the field, you just have to play."

Ricky Nolasco pitched six strong innings for the Twins, but he allowed Justin Upton’s homer in the second for the game’s only run, and Minnesota lost 1-0 to the Tigers on Monday night. Earlier in the day, the last-place Twins announced that Ryan, their general manager, had been fired.

Detroit’s Matt Boyd (1-2) allowed three hits in six outstanding innings. He struck out seven with one walk. Three relievers finished for the Tigers, with Francisco Rodriguez pitching a hitless ninth for his 26th save in 28 chances

"We’ve been struggling offensively coming out of the break, and that didn’t change," Molitor said. "We had a lot of trouble with Boyd’s offspeed pitches."

Nolasco (4-8) allowed one run and three hits.

Upton’s homer was his 200th. Although the Tigers left the bases loaded in the third, Boyd and the bullpen made their one run stand up. Monday was the longest scoreless start of the 25-year-old left-hander’s career. The Tigers acquired him in last year’s trade that sent David Price to Toronto.

The only real misstep by Boyd came in the sixth, after he snagged Joe Mauer’s line drive up the middle. Looking pleased with himself, Boyd flipped the ball from his glove to his bare hand and then threw the ball into left field in a failed attempt to start the toss around the infield.

Boyd’s biggest jam was in the fourth, when he got Eddie Rosario on a grounder for the third out with two on. The Twins didn’t have another baserunner until Miguel Sano’s one-out walk in the ninth.

HONORED

The Tigers gave tickets to some Dallas police officers who were in town for the funeral of Michael Krol, a Michigan native who was among the five officers killed earlier this month by a gunman in Dallas. The officers were shown in the crowd on the big screen at the start of the fifth inning, and fans gave them a standing ovation. There was a brief pause before the game restarted, and a couple umpires joined in the clapping.

"I got goosebumps. That was probably one of the coolest things I’ve seen," Tigers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "The whole city kind of stood up and rallied and let those guys know that we do support them. Those guys lay their lives on the line."

NO Ks

Nolasco did not strike out a batter, the first time that’s happened to him since he lasted only two innings in a start July 6, 2014, against the New York Yankees.

"It was a weird day, not punching anyone out, but I felt really good," Nolasco said. "I think the extra days coming off the break really helped me."

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris (right oblique strain) allowed a run and five hits in four innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Toledo. Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said he’s not sure if Norris will need another rehab start or not. … RHP Warwick Saupold (right groin strain) was reinstated from the DL and optioned to Toledo.

UP NEXT

Twins: LHP Tommy Milone (2-2) takes the mound Tuesday night against Detroit. He allowed two runs in five innings in a win over Texas on July 10.

Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez (5-10) tries again to turn his miserable season around. He brings a 6.75 ERA into Tue