Twins fall 7-2 to Tigers after seven-run 7th inning

Published May. 17, 2016 10:19 p.m. EDT

DETROIT -- Once Phil Hughes was pulled in the seventh inning, another game immediately slipped away from the Minnesota Twins.

The Twins needed three relievers just to get the final two outs of the seventh, and Detroit scored seven runs in the inning before going on to a 7-2 win over Minnesota on Tuesday night. Hughes threw only 75 pitches before being lifted.

"He's been having some fatigue in his shoulder for a little while now," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Before that inning, he told us that we needed to keep an eye on him."

Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez hit consecutive homers during the seventh, and Detroit won while manager Brad Ausmus served a one-game suspension. Jose Iglesias hit a tiebreaking two-run single for the Tigers, who have won three straight after losing 11 of their previous 12.


Ausmus was suspended one game for his tirade Monday, when he was ejected during Detroit's 10-8 win. But since their manager's frustration boiled over, the Tigers have enjoyed mostly positive developments on the field.

Hughes took a shutout into the seventh but was taken out after allowing Miguel Cabrera's triple and Victor Martinez's sacrifice fly.

Kyle Ryan (1-1) got the win in relief, and Michael Tonkin (1-2) took the loss. Gene Lamont managed for Detroit in place of Ausmus.

Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano homered for last-place Minnesota.

Hughes entered with a 6.44 ERA and tied for the big league lead in losses with six, and he had allowed 11 runs over six innings in his previous two starts. He breezed into the seventh with a 2-0 lead, but after the Tigers scored a run, he was pulled.

"I've had the shoulder fatigue for about four starts now. Once I get to about 60 or 70 pitches, I'm losing a couple ticks off my fastball," Hughes said. "That's why I told them to watch me in the seventh -- that's a great offense, and I was going to be facing them for the third time without my best stuff."

Tonkin allowed hits to his first three hitters, then struck out James McCann for the second out. With the score tied at 2, Trevor May came on and allowed hits to all four hitters he faced, including the two-run single by Iglesias, a two-run homer by Kinsler and a solo shot by J.D. Martinez.

Detroit sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning.

Hughes allowed a run and three hits in 6 1/3 innings. Mike Pelfrey -- who left the Twins to sign with Detroit in the offseason -- yielded two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Mauer opened the scoring with his solo homer in the fifth, and Sano added his the following inning.


Pelfrey said he didn't realize Ausmus was suspended at first.

"I had no idea. I kind of pace back and forth in the dugout, and I didn't see him in there, and I had no idea why he wasn't in there," Pelfrey said. "I thought he went to the restroom or something. I had no idea, until the third or fourth inning and I kept slipping over there and I knew he wasn't there. I knew something happened, and I figured it had something to do with (Monday)."


The Twins recalled left-hander Taylor Rogers from Triple-A Rochester and optioned right-hander Jose Berrios to Rochester.


Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (shoulder) is expected to throw to live hitters Thursday.

Tigers: RHP Shane Greene (right middle finger) threw a bullpen session Tuesday.


Twins: Minnesota sends RHP Ricky Nolasco (1-1) to the mound for Wednesday's series finale.

Tigers: Detroit counters with RHP Justin Verlander (2-4). The Tigers will try for a three-game sweep -- they are 5-0 against Minnesota so far this season.