It was fun while it lasted but the Tigers finally lost their first game of the year today, 5-3 to the Texas Rangers. Kenny Rogers got pounded for 5 runs on 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings and Carlos Guillen made a key misplay. With the score tied 3-3 after 5 innings, many fans felt Rogers should not have come back out for the sixth but Guillen's boot did not help. With one out in the sixth, Guillen misplayed a grounder which was first ruled an error and later changed to a hit. To me, it looked like a play he should have made. Ian Kinsler followed with a single and then Wilkerson got a two run double which put the Rangers ahead to stay.
Offensively, Chris Shelton proved to be human going 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. The hitting stars of the day were Curtis Granderson who reached base 4 times on two hits and two walks and Craig Monroe who had a pair of doubles.
I certainly can't complain about a 5-1 road trip to begin the season. This week will be a good test as they head home to play three games against the White Sox and four games against the Indians. These are the two teams who most observers think are the teams to beat in the A.L. Central.
Minor League Notes
According to Tom Gage, Matt Mantei has agreed to a AAA contract and will initially report to Lakeland before pitching for the Mudhens.....Toledo lost to Charlotte today 7-1. Jack Hannahan played second base and got 2 hits. It looks like they may be turning him into a utility infielder.....Erie shutout Harrisburg 3-0 today behind 5 perfect innings by Preston Larrison. Tony Giarratano, Brent Clevlen and Vincent Blue got two hits apiece.....Lakeland topped Tampa 3-2 in 10 innings. Clete Thomas contributed a home run and a single, Jeff Frazier had three hits and Wilken Ramirez added 2 more. Kevin Whelan pitched a perfect 10th to get the save..... Cameron Maybin had his 3rd two hit game in a row in Western Michigan's 11-3 loss to Ft. Wayne. Matt Joyce had a single and triple.