Ricky Nolasco signed a 4-year deal to join the Twins in the off-season, but has posted a 5.64 ERA in his first year with the team. He looked to be worth every cent of the $49 million they're paying him Tuesday night. Nolasco pitched 8 innings giving up just 5 hits and striking out 5. That dropped his ERA down to 5.34, and held a 2-0 lead for the Twins heading through 8 innings.
Glen Perkins pitched the 9th looking for the save, but following a Torii Hunter double and Miguel Cabrera single he had to face the Martinez's. Perkins was able to get MVP candidate Victor Martinez to pop out, but it was comeback player of the year candidate J.D Martinez who struck again. J.D was able to lift the 2-1 pitch over the right field wall to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. It was his 23rd home run of the season, and 13th in the 7th inning or later.
Former Twin Joe Nathan came in for the save in the bottom of the 9th and broke the unwritten rule by walking Trevor Plouffe with 1 out. Kurt Suzuki would then hit a liner to center where defensive replacement Ezequiel Carrera would make the mistake of diving at a ball he had no chance at. It would roll all the way to the wall for Suzuki's 31st double of the year, and tied the game at 3.
A ground ball to second moved the runner to third, and then a high-chopper up the middle by Aaron Hicks that never left the infield would win the game. Hicks was able to beat the throw of shortstop Andrew Romine at first, and the infield single scored the game-winning run from third.
The Tigers did get a good effort from starter Rick Porcello who also pitched 8 innings, giving the bullpen a much-needed rest. Porcello struck out 5, but gave up 7 hits and 2 runs on the night. Kurt Suzuki knocked in the first run of the game with an RBI single in the 4th, and Kennys Vargas hit his 8th home run of the year in the 6th. Vargas also notched his first career triple, and was a double short of the cycle.