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Detroit — The biggest loss of the night came in the third inning.

Tigers star Miguel Cabrera ruptured his left biceps tendon on a hard swing and miss. Surgery will be required and he will be out the rest of the season.

But a baseball game was also lost Tuesday night. That, more or less, happened in the seventh inning when Ehire Adrianza blasted a two-out, grand slam off reliever Warwick Saupold, propelling the Twins to a 6-4 win.

"We walked some people and the game got away from us," said manager Ron Gardenhire, whose thoughts were mostly with Cabrera. "We kept battling but unfortunately we came up short.

"We played a pretty good ballgame but if you don't throw the ball over the plate, you can't control the situation." 

BOX SCORE: Twins 6, Tigers 4

Also lost, or at least wasted, was another brilliant pitching performance by left-hander Blaine Hardy.

In what may be his next to last start before returning to a bullpen role, Hardy was at his crafty best. For six innings, he gave up two infield singles. One was a roll-over topper in the third inning that didn’t register an exit velocity by Adrianza and a bunt single in the sixth by Jackson native Ryan LaMarre.

Adrianza ended up stealing second base, going to third on a wild pitch and scoring on a sacrifice fly by LaMarr.

Hardy picked off LaMarre from first in the sixth. The only other baserunner was Mitch Garver, who walked. Through six innings, Hardy had faced just two Twins hitters over the minimum.

He posted five strikeouts and eight ground-ball outs.

His weapon of choice was his cutter-slider hybrid, which he threw 36 times. He got seven called strikes with it, including back-to-back called third strikes from Miguel Sano and Max Kepler in the second inning.

The average exit velocity on cutters the Twins put in play was 73 mph.

"I always go off feel," Hardy said. "I don't want to say that pitch kept them off balance, but every time I threw it, even if they were looking for it, it wasn't a good swing. I don't have a power fastball, so I might as use my cutter as my fastball."

The script flipped in the seventh.

Hardy lost a six-pitch battle to Eduardo Escobar leading off the inning. Escobar singled to left, the only hit to leave the infield against Hardy, who was at 85 pitches and facing the heart of the Twins order for the third time.

Gardenhire went to right-hander Louis Coleman, who had allowed just three runs in 15.2 innings coming in.

"We were going hitter by hitter (with Hardy)," Gardenhire said. "If he got (Escobar) out, we would probably let him face the next guy (Sano). But if he misses a pitch, that guy can put it out of the ballpark.

"We went to Coleman because he's been very good for us, very good. He just misfired."

Coleman faced four hitters and went to three balls on all of them. He walked two, struck out one and got a fly out. But he left with the bases loaded and two outs.

Saupold came in to face switch-hitting Adrianza and fell behind 3-1. Adrianza then pounced on a fastball and rocketed his first career grand slam into the seats in right field.

"I have all the faith in the world in Gardy and in Coleman," Hardy said. "My confidence level with Coleman was equivalent to my confidence level in myself. I talked to him after. He said he's not going to give in and just throw a meatball down the middle and I totally agree.

"Even with the bases loaded, I had all the confidence in the world that if you gave (Coleman) that last hitter, he would have got him out."

Gardenhire was asked why he didn't use eight-inning setup man Joe Jimenez to get that last out in the seventh. 

"How many games do you want him to pitch? How many innings do you want him to pitch?" Gardenhire said. "He's the eighth-inning guy; understand that. I am not going to kill that kid. That's my decision.

"We put a guy in there who was supposed to get through that inning and he walked a couple of guys. So it's on me. I made the decision. But it's my watch and I'm going to take care of (Jimenez). I think he's a big part of our future here."

The Tigers scored twice in the fourth inning on an RBI triple by Jose Iglesias and a sacrifice fly by Leonys Martin. And they fought back with two unearned runs in the seventh, courtesy of throwing errors by shortstop Adrianza and third baseman Escobar.

But former Tiger Fernando Rodney closed it out without any drama in the ninth, earning his 14th save.

cmccosky@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/cmccosky

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