MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire remembers that his predecessor, Tom Kelly, told him that he'll learn more about his team during the tough times and make him, and his team, stronger in the long run.
"I agree," Gardenhire said. "You have to learn to deal with it but that doesn't mean you have to like it. I don't enjoy this part. Losing is not something everyone should like."
Gardenhire has watched his team struggle is so many areas this season. On Wednesday, strikeouts were the problem again in a 1-0 loss to the Tigers.
The Minnesota Swish, this team could be called, as they were overpowered once again.
This time, Detroit righthander Max Scherzer dealt the damage. He was a little unsettled early, as he walked Brian Dozier in the first inning and then uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Dozier to advance to second. Pitching coach Jeff Jones walked to the mound for a visit. Scherzer walked one more batter but got out of the inning. He came out slinging in the second and looked much more like the pitcher who was the first in baseball to win 20 games this season.
Scherzer struck out the side in the second and had 10 strikeouts by the end of the sixth, with Twins hitters having no chance against his darting fastballs at 94 to 96 miles per hour. The Twins already have set a team record for strikeouts in a season and just keep piling on. With 1,380 strikeouts, the Twins have moved into fifth place on baseball's single-season list and have a chance to finish as high (or low) as third. And Wednesday marked the 63rd time this season that the Twins have fanned at least 10 times in a game.
Scherzer held the Twins to only two hits through seven innings, but six walks led to some scoring opportunities. They stranded a runner a third in the first. The fifth ended with a strikeout of Dozier and a throw out of Pedro Florimon trying to steal third. And Chris Herrmann's leadoff walk in the seventh led to nothing. Scherzer was removed after the seventh inning having thrown 123 pitches and clinging to a 1-0 lead.
Austin Jackson led off the game with a drive to right that sailed by Chris Parmelee's reach and bounced off the wall for a triple. Torii Hunter grounded a single to center as Jackson scored for the 1-0 lead.
That was all the Tigers would get off of Twins righthander Kevin Correia, who held Detroit to one run on seven hits with no walks and one strikeout. He failed to win his 10th game of the season but lowered his ERA to 4.19, a decent return in his first year with the club.
"He has done what everyone was hoping he would do," Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. "He's given us innings. He's giving us a presence. He has given us a little veteran leadership."
Cleveland beat the White Sox on Wednesday, so the Tigers needed to win to clinch the AL Central Division title at Target Field.
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