Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Craig Monroe Does it Again

In a game that resembled the deadball era more than the high powered modern era, the Orioles and Tigers were scoreless going into the 12th inning. Unlike an early 1900s matchup with George Mullin and Jack Powell each pitching complete games, this game featured 12 hurlers - starters Justin Verlander and Adam Loewen and a host of relievers. Still, it was an amazing display of pitching by both sides. Finally, with everyone waiting for Ty Cobb or Sam Crawford to get a big hit, Craig Monroe brought the game back to the 21st Century with a grandslam to center field off Kurt Birkins in the 12th inning. The Tigers then held on to win it 4-1.

Verlander pitched a strong 7 innings allowing just 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5. He was followed by Fernando Rodney and Wil Ledezma who combined to pitch 4 one hit innings with 6 strikeouts. There were very few threats through the first 11. The biggest scares came in the 8th when a Brandon Inge throwing error put runners on first and second and in the 11th when Monroe caught a Kevin Millar smash just short of the wall.

The only Oriole run scored on a balk by Bobby Seay in the bottom of the 12th. Todd Jones then came in and got the final out to save it.

Offensively, the Tigers continued to struggle until they finally broke throke through in the 12th. Ivan Rodriguez led off with a single, Magglio Ordonez got a two out infield single and Carlos Guillen walked setting up Monroe's slam. This was Monroe's third hit of the game as he had singled and doubled earlier. Rodriguez, Ordonez and Guillen each added two hits.

The Tigers now leave the rain and cold of Batimore and head to Toronto where they will play indoors for 4 games. So much for the deadball era. It will be Mike Maroth versus Tomo Ohka tomorrow at 7:05.

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