DETROIT -- The Twins have reversed their fortunes since they last came through Detroit, but they suffered the same scoring troubles on Tuesday that plagued them in their season-opening series at Comerica Park. They got one run, matching their total from the previous three-game set, but couldn't pull ahead, allowing Ian Kinsler's 10th-inning RBI single to end it with a 2-1 Tigers win.
"It's a good pitch. I was just trying to get a base hit, find the outfield grass somehow and get lucky," Kinsler said. "That's kind of what happened."
The first-pitch temperature of 53 degrees wasn't the only number that seemed familiar to Opening Day. Alfredo Simon took a shutout into the eighth inning before Danny Santana's leadoff triple and Torii Hunter's sacrifice fly marked the Twins' first earned run off Tigers pitching at Comerica Park this season, ending a 34-inning streak and nullifying J.D. Martinez's fourth-inning solo homer for Detroit's run.
Three Tigers relievers held down the Twins after their run, giving Detroit a chance to win it after Anthony Gose's one-out double off Ryan Pressly in the 10th. Kinsler flared a single into center that left Aaron Hicks with no play at the plate on the speedy Gose, earning Detroit its first extra-inning win of the season after taking a tough 10th-inning loss to the Royals two nights earlier.
"It's just nice to win a game, get back on track," Kinsler said. "I think everyone in here felt like we should've won Sunday. Coming back after a day off and getting a win, it's a good feeling."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Simon says sit down: Simon struck out six of Minnesota's first 10 batters, including three in a row that loomed the rest of the night. Trevor Plouffe's walk and Kurt Suzuki's double put runners at second and third with nobody out, but Simon got a called third strike on Kennys Vargas before fanning Eduardo Escobar and Hicks to end the threat.
"I just try to trust in myself and just throw the ball down," Simon said, "Try to make them think that I'm going to throw fastball, but I throw my offspeed. It worked really good today. I just tried to keep the game close."
Gibson's streak ends at 20 innings: Gibson was on a roll entering his start against the Tigers, but saw his string of 20 straight scoreless innings come to an end on Martinez's solo shot to right in the fourth. Gibson was still impressive, giving up just that one run over seven innings. He also struck out five of the final six batters he faced.
"I guess that's the most frustrating thing of the night -- to get beat on the long ball," said Gibson, who has given up three homers all year. "I normally am a guy who can keep it in the park."
Nesbitt nails it this time: The Tigers' rookie reliever worked the 10th inning for the second straight game and allowed another leadoff runner. This time, however, Nesbitt settled down thanks to a popup bunt from Santana and a strikeout-throwout double play on a full-count high fastball that Brian Dozier chased, effectively acting as a pitchout for rookie catcher James McCann to throw out Hicks at second. The performance earned Nesbitt his first Major League win. More >
Twins unable to cash in chances: The Twins entered hitting .308 with runners in scoring position this year, but were unable to come through in those situations. The Twins went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, scoring only on Hunter's sac fly in the eighth. It spoiled a strong start from Gibson and kept the door open for Detroit's game-winning hit in the 10th.
"It's disappointing when you feel like you have opportunities and you don't have as good of at-bats as we've been having with runners in scoring position of late," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We left some opportunities out there." More >
"We're actually swinging the bats pretty well, I think. Runs-wise, it's not good, but we're swinging the bats well. Everyone's swinging the bat well. Right now, we're just not getting anything to show for it. Hopefully we can start clicking in that aspect." -- Kinsler, on the Tigers' offense, which was held to two runs or less for the third straight game and eighth in the last 13
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Hunter's sac fly in the eighth was the first RBI by a Twins player in four games at Comerica Park this season. It was also the first earned run charged to the Tigers against the Twins in Detroit this year.
Molitor challenged a close play at first base in the fifth inning, when Gose hit into a potential 3-6-1 double play, but was initially ruled safe by first-base umpire Chris Guccione. After a review, it was found Gibson's foot stayed on the bag and the throw beat Gose to overturn the call. Molitor improved to 6-1 on challenges this year.
Three innings later, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus issued a challenge with Gose at the plate again, trying to see if he beat the throw to first base on his sacrifice bunt attempt. After a one-minute, 34-second review, Guccione's out call stood, though Jose Iglesias had advanced to second base regardless. Ausmus has challenged six plays this season, with three calls being overturned.
WHAT'S NEXT Twins: Right-hander Ricky Nolasco is set to make his fourth start of the year on Wednesday against the Tigers at 7:08 p.m. ET. He's struggled to find his form in two outings since coming off the disabled list after dealing with right elbow inflammation, but still won both starts with the help of the offense.
Tigers:Kyle Lobstein, who faced the Twins twice during his late-season stint last year, gets his first meeting of 2015 with them Wednesday night, hoping to build on three consecutive outings with at least seven innings pitched. No Tigers lefty has put up four in a row since Kenny Rogers.