Twins motivated by comeback effort in Detroit

Twins motivated by comeback effort in Detroit

DETROIT -- Entering Monday, teams trailing by eight runs this season were 0-49. The Twins nearly became the first one to win, rallying from such a deficit to tie the score, but they ultimately fell, 10-8, to the Tigers.

"It was a really good battle by us," third baseman Trevor Plouffe said. "We talked in Cleveland about how we scored runs early and not late. We want to continue to put pressure. We got down early, but kept our heads up and battled. I think it was a good game for us, obviously not the outcome we wanted, but it's something we can look to and motivate us a little bit tomorrow."

Starter Jose Berrios didn't even get out of the first, pulled after two-thirds of an inning and finishing with seven earned runs allowed. Reliever Pat Dean gave up another run in the frame to make it 8-0, and the Twins' bats were facing Jordan Zimmermann. But the comeback started in the very next inning.

A two-run homer by Kurt Suzuki in the top of the second got the Twins on the board, and Miguel Sano hit a solo shot in the third to make it 8-3.

Sano's sixth homer of 2016

"It was good," manager Paul Molitor said. "The first inning, you know you've still got to play eight more. We talk a lot about playing nine innings, regardless of the circumstances. Suzuki got us on the board right away after the eight, Miggy hits a homer, and we start putting some things together."

The Twins batted around in the fourth inning, a rally that included Plouffe stealing third and scoring on an ensuing throwing error. By the end of the fourth, after a single that bounced off second base and another throwing error by the Tigers' infield, the Twins had cut it to 8-7 .

The four runs and six hits were the most for the Twins in a single inning this season.

In the seventh, Byung Ho Park doubled with two outs, and Plouffe hit a deep fly ball to right field. Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez got underneath that ball but dropped it, allowing Park to score and tie the game.

"As a player you need to run those balls out," Plouffe said. "I thought I hit it pretty good. I saw he had a bead on it. I don't know if he lost it or dropped it, but I'll take that all day. Tied the game."

Brian Dozier was called out on strikes to end the frame, though he and Molitor were clearly not happy with the call.

Zimmermann had given up eight earned runs all season. Though the Twins put seven earned on him -- eight total -- he earned the win when the Tigers hit solo homers in the bottom of the seventh and eighth. Dean allowed two earned runs in 5 1/3 strong innings as the Twins came back, but he recorded the loss.

It wasn't the ideal outcome, but Plouffe said it's the effort the Twins need to turn the ship around after their 10-27 start to the season.

"We try to battle like that every day," he said. "You can talk about our record all you want, but we've played better baseball. We've been in a lot of games, battling all year. The wins haven't been there for us, but we're going to continue to grind it out. We know it's going to be a long process to get back to where we need to be. It's not going to come overnight or in the next month, but it's going to take us grinding games like this, not giving up when it's 8-0, and we believe we'll be there in the end."

Chris Vannini is a contributor to and covered the Twins on Monday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.