The Tigers found yet another way to win today. Mike Maroth added more than a run to his ERA (2.54 to 3.56) when he allowed 6 runs in the first inning including back to back to back home runs by Tony Graffanino, Angel Berroa and Doug Mientkiewicz. One had to wonder whether Maroth was bothered by the tender elbow which has bothered him off and on since spring training. He did mention to Tiger broadcaster Rod Allen earlier in the series that he experienced some recent discomfort but I have not seen anything else about that today. Hopefully, it was just a bad outing. At any rate, it did not look good for the Tigers at that point especially with Jim Leyland resting Chris Shelton and Magglio Ordonez today.
On the other hand, the way the Tigers have been going and the way the Royals have been going, you got the feeling that it was not over yet. And it indeed was not. The Tigers scored 3 in the 2nd, 2 in the 4th, 3 in the 8th and 5 in the 9th to turn a 6 run deficit into a 13-8 victory. Craig Monroe hit a home run in the 9th which finally put the Tigers in front but, in a game where they bludgeoned the Royals from the second inning on, it's really hard to say that one particular hit was the big blow. The leading hitters were Curtis Granderson (4 hits), Ivan Rodriguez (2 run triple and 3 run homer), Craig Monroe (4 hits including his 10th home run) and Marcus Thames (2 home runs).
The relief pitching bailed them out as much as the bats. Roman Colon, Jason Grilli, Bobby Seay and Joel Zumaya combined to allow only 2 runs in 8 1/3 innings. Meanwhile the Royal bullpen allowed 8 runs in 5 1/3 innings.
The Tigers have now won 6 in a row, 13 of 14, and 26 of 33. Some of that has come against weak competition like the Royals (who are probably as bad as the 2003 Tigers) and the Twins (whose pitching has been awful) but they need to beat up on struggling teams and they have been doing just that. The schedule does get a bit more interesting over the next two weeks though - a 10 game homestand against the Indians, Yankees and Red Sox followed by a 3 game series versus the White Sox at Chicago. This is the kind of thing for which Tiger fans have been waiting for over a dozen years. That is, meaningful games against good teams in the warmth of late spring and early summer.