MINNEAPOLIS -- With Phil Hughes exiting due to injury after throwing just 71 pitches over five innings and Minnesota leading by four runs Wednesday, the Twins had to go to the bullpen early against the Tigers.
It didn't work out, as three Twins relievers combined to give up four homers, including a game-tying inside-the-park homer to backup catcher James McCann in the sixth, in a 10-7 loss. It was a wild game that saw both teams hit a combined six homers and the Tigers score the go-ahead run in the eighth, keyed by a pop fly that landed on the mound for a single.
"It's one of those games where you can put it in the category where I don't really feel like we got beat," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We had an opportunity and had some good at-bats against [Tigers starter Shane] Greene and we were able to separate. But we couldn't contain them with the 17 or 18 hits or whatever they had. It just didn't work out."
The Twins looked to be in good shape after Trevor Plouffe connected on a three-run homer in the fifth to give Minnesota a four-run cushion. But Hughes left with a minor left hip flexor strain, and struggling reliever Tim Stauffer was brought in for the sixth.
Stauffer didn't last long, giving up solo shots to Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez before handing it over to lefty Aaron Thompson. Thompson served up a deep drive to center to McCann that hit the base of the wall, then went off center fielder Jordan Schafer's leg to allow the Tigers to tie the game on a two-run inside-the-parker.
"The ball hit off the wall and I guess it went off the wall and then hit my leg and went over to the right," said Schafer, who later left with the game with a mild right knee MCL sprain. "It's unfortunate, obviously, with the lead we had we had and we couldn't close it out. But it's part of the game."
With Casey Fien on the mound in the eighth, Yoenis Cespedes hit a high pop fly on the field that should've been the second out, but dropped in on the mound for a rare infield popup single. The Tigers made the Twins pay, with Andrew Romine coming through a two-out RBI single to give the Detroit the lead.
Plouffe blamed himself for the misplay, as he said he called for the ball, but never saw it until it was too late because of the sun.
"If I call it, it's a play I have to make," Plouffe said.
Cabrera gave the Tigers insurance runs with a two-run shot in the ninth off Fien, who exited just one batter later with shoulder soreness. Fien joined Hughes and Schafer as three Twins who left early due to injury.
"It's one of those games you want to be on the other side of," Plouffe said. "We played well enough to win early in the game."