Rookie sensation Justin Verlander had his start skipped today in order to rest his tired right arm. Taking his place was Wil Ledezma who was making his first start of the year for the Tigers. Remembering his struggles as a starter a year ago, many Tiger fans were hoping for a big offensive day from their team. They didn't get it. And didn't need it as Ledezma and 4 relievers combined to shut out the Indians 1-0.
Ledezma pitched 5 2/3 innings scattering 6 hits and walking 2 along with 5 strike outs including Hafner twice. He left with a 1-0 lead and 2 on and 2 out in the 6th. Jason Grilli came into the game and got Kelly Shoppach to ground to short to end the inning. Grilli then loaded the bases with one out in the 7th. Now, it was time for Jamie Walker to do some clutch pitching. He struck out Hafner and got Martinez on a force out to short. Fernando Rodney pitched the 8th and Todd Jones pitched the 9th each allowing a base runner but no runs.
The Tigers offense was not much better but a Cleveland error helped them score a run in the 5th. Brandon Inge reached when Sabathia (who pitched a very solid game himself) could not handle a tap to the right of the mound. Brent Clevlen sacrificed Inge to second. Inge alertly made it to third on an infield grounder to the third baseman by Placido Polanco. Craig Monroe then singled home Inge for the game's only run.
The victory completed a thrilling three game sweep of the Indians. Each victory was by one run and each game had its' own dramatic story. The Tigers now have a 9 game lead over the White Sox who lost 7-3 to the Blue Jays today. Next, they host the Twins in a three game series starting tomorrow night.