The Tigers continued to sweep through the American League as they defeated the Kansas City Royals 3-2 and 4-1 the past two nights. As has been the case all year, they did it with pitching and home runs. Last night, Jeremy Bonderman pitched 8 shutout innings allowing just 4 hits and a walk while striking out 9. Todd Jones closed it out despite making a lot of people nervous by allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in the ninth. Magglio Ordonez and Craig Monroe accounted for all the Tiger runs with a couple of home runs.
Tonight, Mike Maroth pitched 6 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits and a walk. Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney each pitched a perfect inning of relief. Jones came in to pitch the 9th and this time was a lot more efficient allowing just one hit and no other base runners in the 9th. Brandon Inge and Craig Monroe accounted for 3 of the 4 Tiger runs with home runs.
The Tigers are now 18-9 and are just 1/2 game behind the first place White Sox. The Tigers have been beating up on some weak teams lately. This is good because it's something they haven't always been able to do in the past. The next series, a two game tilt versus the Los Angeles Angels will be a better test though. Tomorrow night, it will be Nate Robertson for the Tigers against Jeff Weaver of the Angels.
The Tigers lead the majors in fewest runs allowed per game (3.18) and have had 14 straight games where they have allowed 4 runs or fewer. They are 11-3 over that stretch. Mike Maroth is second in the league with a 1.78 ERA and Kenny Rogers is 4th at 2.59. All 5 starters have ERAs under 4.00.
The Tigers also lead the majors in home runs with 43. Chris Shelton is 5th in the league with 10. Four others have at least 5 already: Monroe 7, Ordonez 6, Inge 5 and Carlos Guillen 5.
According to Danny Knobler, Dmitri Young is headed to Erie for rehab. There is no mention on when we can expect to see him in Detroit but I imagine it could happen this weekend.