The Tigers ended a 10 game road trip by losing to the Devil Rays 2-1 tonight. They went 6-4 on the trip which took them to Cleveland, Minnesota and Tampa Bay. After taking 2 of 3 from both the Indians and Twins, they managed only a split of the 4 game series with the Rays. In past years, taking 6 of 10 on the road would have been considered an accomplishment. However, this year we have come to expect more from our Tigers and it almost seems like a slump.
The Tigers scored first in the 5th inning when Craig Monroe continued his hot summer with a solo shot to right field. Unfortunately, that would be all the scoring they could do against Jae Seo, Seth McClung and Brian Meadows and a solid performance by Nate Robertson was wasted. Robertson held the Rays scoreless through 6 innings but allowed the first two runners to reach in the 7th. He left the game leading 1-0 with runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out.
Joel Zumaya came in to pitch to BJ Upton who singled to center scoring Jonny Gomes. Then Upton got caught in a run down but just when they were about to tag him, Josh Paul dashed towards the plate and scored when Placido Planco threw wide. The Tiger defense, which had been so strong all year, has been a little shakey as of late. The Rays led 2-1 after 7 innings.
It was still 2-1 going into the 9th and many Tiger fans were expecting another late inning rally and they almost got one. Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen went down quickly but Dmitri Young doubled to left center keeping the inning alive. Young had 3 hits on the night and is now batting .432 in 37 at bats since his return. Monroe followed with a walk after what I believe was an 11 pitch at bat (very un-Monroe-like indeed). Sean Casey then stepped to the plate and fans envisioned a two run double by the newest Tiger as that is how the season has gone this year. However, there would be no joy in Mudville tonight - The Mighty Casey has popped to the shortstop.