The much anticipated series got off to a bad start tonight as four Twins pitchers - Brian Duensing, Jose Miljares, John Rauch and Joe Nathan - shutout the Tigers on five hits. The starter Duensing, who held the Athletics scoreless for seven innings in his last start, was strong again today before being removed with one out in the seventh.
Joe Nathan got his 30th save in 30 opportunities lifetime versus the Tigers. This was one was not particularly easy as he walked pinch hitterAlex Avila and allowed a double to Curtis Granderson before retiring Aubrey Huff on a soft liner to the mound to end it.
For the most part though, the Tigers looked helpless at the plate tonight as they have too many times this year. How bad has their offense been? They are 11th in the American League with 670 runs scored for the season. Their 252 runs since the all-star break is 13th in the league.
Rick Porcello pitched a decent game tonight allowing three runs in six innings. He allowed a two run homer to Michael Cuddyer in the fourth to make it 2-0. He then allowed another tally in the sixth on doubles by Jason Kubel and Delmon Young. Unfortunately, he got no offensive support at all.
It's a bigger series for the Twins than the Tigers but this was a frustrating start to the series never the less. The Tigers lead which climbed to seven games less than two weeks ago has now been reduced to three. And they still have two more games in the Metrodome - thankfully the last two they will ever play there. I still think the Tigers will be in good shape if they can just take one game in this series. That would leave the Twins three games down with just just three home games to go. The Tigers winning a game in Minnesota is far from a guarantee though.