Trevor Hildenberger’s September struggles continue as Twins fall to Detroit 4-2
The Twins opened well, but the Tigers closed better.
After the Twins threw seven scoreless innings at Detroit on Tuesday night, the Tigers jumped on the Twins bullpen in the eighth and held on for a 4-2 victory to begin the second-to-last series of the season at Target Field.
Trevor Hildenberger gave up three hits and walk in the eighth inning, including RBI singles by Nick Castellanos and Niko Goodrum. He was replaced by Trevor May, who gave up a two-run double to right to James McCann.
Hildenberger has given up runs in five consecutive outings while posting a 29.73 ERA. The righthander has earned most of the Twins saves since they traded closer Fernando Rodney to Oakland, so it was notable that he was called upon in the eighth inning Tuesday with the team holding a one-run lead.
Jake Cave hit an RBI single in the bottom of the inning, but Detroit got out of the eighth when Logan Forsythe flied out to center against Alex Wilson with the bases loaded.
For the second consecutive outing vs. the Tigers, Stewart and his opener, lefthander Gabriel Moya, worked it perfectly. Moya pitched a scoreless first. After the Twins scored in the bottom of the inning on Joe Mauers single and Jorge Polancos double, Stewart followed with six shutout innings.
Stewart, the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft, looked composed and in control in lowering his ERA to 3.68. He gave up two hits and struck out five Tuesday. With the opener strategy, it turns a reliever loose in the first inning which has the highest ERA of any inning. The primary pitcher can pitch into the seventh inning while facing an opponents top three hitters only twice, provided he is effective.
Stewarts past two starts have been against the Tigers, and hes thrown 12 shutout innings at them while giving up five hits and striking out 10. Thats after he gave up six runs on seven hits and five walks over 11 innings in his first two major league starts in August, also against Detroit.
Berrios will take a break again
Righthander Jose Berrios is expected to make his final start of the season on Friday when the Twins play a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox. He will likely pitch more than 190 innings in a season for the first time in the majors he pitched 192 innings in 2017 between the World Baseball Classic, Class AAA Rochester and the majors and has a chance to end the season with a sub-4.00 ERA for the second consecutive season.
Berrios, 24, confirmed Tuesday that he will not pitch in the Puerto Rican winter league during the offseason. He has had a full workload, and he knows the Twins prefer that he spend the offseason in his normal conditioning program then get ready for spring training. He frequently has posted video on twitter of his offseason workouts which, last year, included him pushing a small truck across a field.
Im going to take three weeks to rest, then start working out, he said. There weeks is long enough. Then I get bored.
There remains a chance that catcher Mitch Garver will get a few at-bats during the final week of the season. Garver, out since Sept. 12 because of a concussion, wont catch but is getting close to be able to play first base, serve as the designated hitter or pinch hit. The Twins were waiting for the go-ahead from MLB to use Garver.
Manager Paul Molitor is holding out hope that Miguel Sano can play this week. The third baseman has played only once since Sept. 5 because of a lower left leg contusion.
Righthander Aaron Slegers, sidelined since July 11 because of a sore right shoulder, was activated from the disabled list.