Missed opportunities. They have nagged the Tigers all season long and have kept Detroit from enjoying a comfortable lead in the American League Central division. This game went back and forth, and with the Twins up 4-3 in the bottom of the 8th the Tigers loaded the bases with nobody out. A sacrafice fly off the bat of Wilson Betemit brought home the tying run (at the time), but the Tigers could not get the clutch hit they so desperately needed. With the game tied at 4, manager Jim Leyland went to closer Jose Valverde to pitch the 9th. He should know better.

Jose Valverde is perfect in save situations, 35 for 35. In non-save situations, he is probably the worst pitcher on the Tiger staff. Valverde promptly gave up a hit to the first batter he faced. The next two Minnesota batters bunted. Both were trying to make an out and sacrafice the runner into scoring position. Both would reach base on Tiger errors. A bad throw by third baseman Wilson Betemit, and an error by Valverde trying to field a bunt and the bases were loaded with no outs. Valverde would strike out the next two Twin batters, but would give up a two-run single to Justin Morneau to make it 6-4.

The Tigers came back for a run in the bottom of the 9th on hits from Brennan Boesch and Miguel Cabrera, but the rally fizzled and the Tigers lost 6-5. The Twins took 2 of 3 from the Tigers and are still 14 games under .500. The Tigers can ill afford to lose to teams like that. With Cleveland's 4-1 win over Chicago, the Indians trail the Tigers by just two games. Cleveland comes to Detroit for a three game series with the Tigers which begins Friday night at Comerica Park. Max Scherzer will start for the Tigers (12-7) vs. Cleveland's Josh Tomlin (12-5).

Detroit has the day off tomorrow. Might be a good time to work on pitchers' defensive drills.