It was cold this afternoon at Comerica Park. Cold and gray and the Tigers, they played accordingly.
They didn’t pitch, they rarely hit and the end result was an 11-5 thrashing by the Twins.
Jordan Zimmermann was plagued by a 31-pitch third inning, reverting back to spring training form, and was knocked out after failing to pitch five innings.
He walked a career-high five batters and put the Tigers behind the 8-ball early. When Anibal Sanchez came in, it only got worse.
Sanchez was tagged for six runs on seven hits, allowing two home runs.
After a lengthy stretch of strong starting pitching and a short stretch of decent relief pitching, the bottoms on both fell out in the final game of the first homestand of the season. The Tigers went 4-2 against the Red Sox and Twins.
Zimmermann wasn’t able to pitch deep into the game, relinquishing an early lead, afforded to him by Miguel Cabrera’s first home run of the season, a solo shot in the first inning. The Tigers pushed the score to 2-0 in the second inning on a Jose Iglesias double.
In the third inning, though, the Twins finally caught up to Zimmermann when Robbie Grossman hit a two-run home run. In the fourth inning, he walked back-to-back batters for the first time since 2012 and allowed an RBI single.
He could not escape the fifth inning, leaving two men on for Sanchez, who promptly allowed a three-run home run to Max Kepler.
Like Zimmermann, it wouldn’t get better for Sanchez.
In the sixth inning, he allowed five hits, including a three-run home run to Miguel Sano. His final line was not good. He allowed six runs on seven hits in his third relief appearance of the season.
Top prospect Joe Jimenez, called up on Monday morning, finally made his major league debut in the top of the ninth inning. He struck out one in a scoreless inning.
Justin Upton hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot that traveled 414 feet to left-centerfield, in the seventh inning. It wasn’t nearly enough.