Rookie Kohl Stewart’s debut rough as Twins fall to Tigers

August 12, 2018 GMT

DETROIT A challenging fifth inning and a little production from the offense made rookie Kohl Stewarts major league debut a rough one.

Stewart was effective for four innings on Sunday before the Tigers got him for three runs in the fifth on the way to a 4-2 win over the Twins at Comerica Park. The Twins finished 2-5 on their seven game road trip while averaging 2.4 a game.

The Twins were held to one run on two hits over the first seven innings before Max Keplers home run in the eighth allowed them to pull within 3-2. Detroit, however, scored a run in the eighth to move to a 4-2 lead, and Shane Greene worked the ninth to earn his 25th save.

Sometimes its hard for a newbie to show what he can really do. Hes in the big city, pitching in a stadium with a third deck. The excitement in the moments a kid gets The Call and walks into the clubhouse as a major leaguer for the first time quickly gives way to nerves when its time to throw that first pitch.


That was not the case for Stewart on Sunday. His game is well-rooted. That is, he makes opponents pound his pitches into the ground. For the first four innings on Sunday, Stewart was a ground ball inducer while a large cheering section of his family and friends could be heard shrieking after each out.

He shook off a single to Niko Goodrum during a 10-pitch first inning. He got Mike Gerber to hit into a double play to end the second inning.

There were signs of trouble in the third when he gave up a single to Jeimer Candelario, hit Jose Iglesias with a pitch then threw a wild pitch to allow runners to reach second and third base. But he got Goodrum to ground out and end the inning. Through the first four innings, Stewart had gotten nine of 12 outs through ground balls, including two double plays. He needed just nine pitches to get through the fourth.

The fifth inning was the unkind one. Stewart gave up three consecutive ground ball singles, the third, by Jeimer Candelario, drove in a run to tie the game at 1-1. Iglesias then worked a 10 pitch at bat before hitting chopped to third base that Adrianza did not charge. His throw to first was late, and the bases were loaded. This was a situation where Stewart could have used a strikeout, but that tool is missing from his toolbox. And the inning continued.

A 3-1 pitch to Goodrum missed the plate, forcing in a run to make it 2-1 and end Stewarts day. Victor Martinez hit a sacrifice fly off of Taylor Rogers as Detroit took a 3-1 lead.

After a promising start, things escalated quickly on Stewart. In 42/3 innings, Stewart gave up three runs on eight hits and a walk with one strikeout.

Meanwhile, Eddie Rosario and Joe Mauer were not in the starting lineup against Detroit lefty Matthew Boyd, and it showed. The Twins had just two hits over the first seven innings, a single by Jorge Polanco in the first and a leadoff triple by Mitch Garver in the second. He scored on a sacrifice fly for the first run of the game.