Jake Odorizzi strong again as Twins top Tigers 5-3 for third consecutive victory
DETROIT Jake Odorizzi took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in his previous start last week against the Yankees. On Tuesday, he showed that was less of an outlier during a struggling season and more of a surge.
Odorizzi continued his strike throwing surge and carried a one-hitter into the seventh inning against the Tigers before giving up two runs, which set the Twins up to beat the Detroit Tigers 5-3 for their third consecutive victory.
His work was rewarded in the sixth inning, when Tyler Austin dropped an RBI single to center and Jake Cave followed with hard grounder that deflected off of second baseman Dawel Lugos glove and into center, allowing Robbie Grossman to score. Those were the first runs of the game.
Chris Gimenez added a solo homer in the seventh, followed by a two-run double by Austin, as the Twins took a 5-0 lead. Odorizzi entered the seventh with a very manageable 74 pitches thrown, but gave up three hits, including a two-run triple by Mikie Mahtook, before leaving the game. In 62/3 innings, Odorizzi gave up two runs on four hits and one walk with six strikeouts. He has a 1.98 ERA over his last two outings.
Odorizzi snatched the spotlight from the return of Miguel Sano to the starting lineup after he missed 12 game after injuring his surgically repaired left leg while sliding into second base Sept. 4 in Houston.
Sanos first game was rough, as he struck out in all four at bats. He took a called a strike three twice from Tigers lefthander Daniel Norris then swung and missed at strike three from reliever Drew VerHagen in the sixth before going down swinging against Victor Alcantara in the eighth.
Still, getting back in the lineup was important for Sano, as he tries to salvage season during which hes batting.200 with 13 homers and 41 RBI.
For me, it is great to finish strong and try to win a couple more games and do as good as we can, Sano said, and its a great opportunity that God gave me.
Sano spent the offseason recovering from surgery in which a titanium rod was placed in his left leg to treat a stress reaction. He failed to condition properly during that time and reported to camp weighing 293 pounds.
He began the season with the major league club but missed 24 games in May with a strained left hamstring, When he returned, he batted .191 over 17 games, prompting the Twins to take the unusual approach of sending him to the minors on June 14 - all the way to Class A Fort Myers.
There, Sano lost 20 pounds and worked on his swing. He returned on July 28 lighter - but hit .202 over 33 games when he injured his leg in Houston.
Hes trying to finish with a flourish, then head into the offseason where he wants to lose even more weight and put his game back together. He might play winter ball if things go well. At age 25, Sano is a crossroads in his career.
When I go back home, I want to lose some weight and get more in shape and try to come back ready for spring training, he said. As soon as everything is done here, I will go back to the Dominican. I will travel between Fort Myers and the Dominican. Everything depends on how I feel and how my body is. If I get in good shape before December.
How much lighter do you want to get?
Maybe 260, 255, 245, thats my goal, he said. I want to stay my whole life at third. I want to play third base for a long time.