DETROIT — Rookie Jose Berrios didn’t get the loss for the Minnesota Twins Monday night, but he knew that he was mostly to blame.
In his fourth career start, Berrios allowed seven runs without getting out of the first inning. He was saved by Minnesota’s offense, who overcame an 8-0 first-inning deficit to tie the game in the seventh, but the Detroit Tigers hit two late homers to win 10-8.
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Ian Kinsler gave the Tigers a lead on the first pitch of the first, driving it into the left-field stands for Detroit’s first leadoff homer of the season. The next two hitters walked, and Castellanos made it 2-0 with an RBI single.
Berrios continued to struggle to find the plate, walking Cameron Maybin to load the bases and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to give the Tigers a three-run lead. Jose Iglesias followed with a three-run double to make it 6-0 and end Berrios’ night after nine batters.
"That’s the first time in my career – minors and majors – that I had to come out in the first inning," Berrios said. "I was trying to hit the catcher’s glove, but I was pulling all my pitches."
Twins manager Paul Molitor said he tried everything he could to keep Berrios in the game.
"He’s a young guy, and you can see he’s trying to make adjustments, so you want to give him that chance," he said. "But when they got that last double to make it six, and he had already walked four guys and given up three hits, I had to get him."
Kinsler greeted Pat Dean with an RBI double, and Martinez made it 8-0 with another double.
After that, it was all Minnesota.
Kurt Suzuki homered in the second to pull the Twins within six, and Miguel Sano’s home run cut the margin to 8-3 in the third. Trevor Plouffe added another run for the Twins when he stole third and scored on Saltalamacchia’s throwing error in the fourth.
Things kept going right for the Twins in the inning, including a slow hopper up the middle that hit second base and two more infield singles. By the time Jordan Zimmerman struck out Byung Ho Park to end the inning, Minnesota was within 8-7.
In the bottom of the inning, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was ejected after arguing a called third strike. Before leaving the field, he removed his sweatshirt to cover the plate.
The Twins tied it in the top of the seventh when J.D. Martinez dropped a routine fly ball in right, but Nick Castellanos saved more embarrassment for the Tigers, though, hitting a tie-breaking homer in the seventh. Martinez added another solo homer in the eighth.
"That’s probably the most emotional game we’ve played this year," said Castellanos, the player Ausmus had been defending in the fourth. "When you see a manager do that, you know he has your back. That’s what it is all about."
That was an important boost for Ausmus, who acknowledged before the game that he knows his job situation is precarious. Detroit came into the game having lost 11 of 13.
"We get it, I’m on the hot seat," Ausmus said. "I might get fired. We’re done talking about it. We’re beating a dead horse."
Castellanos homered off Pat Dean (0-1), who had entered the game in the first inning and threw 90 pitches in 5 1/3 innings.
Zimmermann (6-2) had only allowed eight earned runs in his seven starts this season, but gave up seven more, plus an unearned run, on 11 hits in seven innings. He struck out nine without walking a batter. Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 10th save.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (shoulder) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Monday, and is expected to face hitters on Thursday before a possible rehab assignment.
Tigers: RHP Shane Greene (blister) is expected to throw on Tuesday or Wednesday. Ausmus said that if he gets through that without further trouble, he will be prepared to report for a minor-league rehab assignment.
MOMENTS OF SILENCE: The Tigers held a moment of silence before the game to honor two former players, both of whom passed away during Detroit’s road trip. Dick McAuliffe played for the Tigers from 1960-73, playing in three All-Star Games. McAuliffe was the starting second baseman for the 1968 World Champions.
John Young played two games in 1971, but went on to found the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program. One of its graduates, Justin Upton, is now Detroit’s starting left fielder.
UP NEXT: The teams continue a three-game series with Phil Hughes (1-6. 6.44) facing former teammate Mike Pelfrey (0-4, 5.80). Hughes is 8-9 with a 4.63 ERA in 20 career outings against Detroit, while Pelfrey is 1-0 in his career against the Twins, but with a 6.30 ERA in two starts.