It was another good start for Lance Lynn. Yet he didn’t get the win despite giving up just three runs.
After what looked like a promising start with Lynn cruising, holding a one-run lead, the Minnesota Twins eventually fell 3-1 to the Detroit Tigers.
In the seventh inning with the Twins leading 1-0, John Hicks led off with a triple to right-center. Facing his first high leverage situation, Lynn flipped a rare breaking ball over the plate and high in the zone to former Twins infielder Niko Goodrum who drilled it to center. Hicks scored from third on the sac fly to tie the game.
Lynn bounced back with a strikeout but hit the next batter, Jose Iglesias. Paul Molitor came out of the dugout to check on Lynn and left him to finish the inning. The next batter, JaCoby Jones, put the Tigers ahead with a two-run home run.
The 3-1 score stood as Tigers relievers Joe Jimenez and Shane Greene worked easy innings, allowing just one base runner combined to secure the win.
Here’s what we saw from our vantage point
Lynn deserved a lot better
After struggling to start the year, Lynn has turned it around as of late. Since May 1 and coming into today’s game, Lynn has made seven starts with the Twins winning five of them. There’s no mistaking it, Lynn has pitched better:
- 38.1 innings
- 3.05 ERA
- 36 strikeouts/17 walks
- 1 home run allowed
- .253 batting average against
Since his three-inning outing against his former team – the St. Louis Cardinals – Lynn has pitched at least six innings in five consecutive starts, which included this game.
Bottom line, Lynn has given the Twins a chance to win more often than not as of late and did just that against the Tigers.
In the first inning, he allowed a walk to Jeimer Candelario and a hit to Victor Martinez but struck out three batters to escape without any damage.
From there he settled down, allowing just two singles through the next four innings while racking up the strikeouts. Lynn finished with nine strikeouts – tying a season-high – and a season-high 20 swinging strikes. He also walked just one batter but did also hit a batter.
By definition, Lynn gave the Twins a quality start. He pitched at least six innings and allowed no more than three runs. Usually, teams win when their starting pitcher works a quality start. Unfortunately for Lynn, the Twins scored just the one run.
The Twins offense struggles again
Michael Fulmer is the Tigers’ best starting pitcher and proved that in this game as he avoided the Twins’ barrels all game. The Twins managed just five hits, two for extra bases and one walk against him.
Fulmer held the Twins to one run. It’s the sixth time this month the Twins have scored three runs or fewer.
What offense the Twins did muster came in the first inning.
After Brian Dozier flew out to center, Eddie Rosario came inches away from a home run. The ball hit the right-field wall and Rosario, who probably thought it was a home run, turned on the jets and reached second base safely. The next “Ed” in the order, Eduardo Escobar, hit a single to right field, driving in Rosario. Logan Morrison lined out to center and Max Kepler followed with a groundout to second base.
The Twins’ first inning featured hard-hit balls. According to MLB.com, the average exit velocity was 93.4 mph. Up 1-0 and seeing the Twins hit Fulmer hard looked encouraging at the time. Fulmer, much like Lynn did after the first inning, settled down to pitch a good game and keep the Twins bats silent.
- The Twins are 3-22 this season when scoring three runs or fewer.
- Jake Cave was optioned to Triple-A. Along with Cave, the Twins optioned Miguel Sano to Single-A Fort Myers after the game. Sano has struggled this month, evident by his .162/.225/.243 slash line.
- Joe Mauer will join the Twins for its series against the Indians. The probable pitching matchups for the weekend series are:
Kyle Gibson (1-4, 3.45 ERA) vs. Corey Kluber (10-2, 1.99 ERA) – Friday
Fernando Romero (3-2, 3.92 ERA) vs. Carlos Carrasco (8-4, 3.90 ERA) – Saturday
Jake Odorizzi (3-3, 4.19 ERA) vs. Adam Plutko (3-1, 5.09 ERA) – Sunday