The Tigers returned home from their early season 10 game road trip and defeated the Royals 12-5. It was nice to get a relatively easy victory after all the nail biters the past week. It was also good to see some offense. Ivan Rodriguez started the scoring with a grandslam off Zack Greinke in the first and added a two run double in the second for 6 RBI total. Carlos Guillen added 4 more RBI for a solo homer in the 4th and a bases loaded double in the 8th.
One of the best things about the offense tonight was that they worked the Royals staff for 8 walks. Gary Sheffield had 3 and Guillen 2 to lead the way. They now have 48 walks in their first 13 games. This comes out to 3.7 per game which is better than the league average of 3.4. They were 13th in the American League in walks last year. Their strikeout to walk ratio of 1.8 is also better than the league average of 2.0. They were last in the league with a 2.6 ratio in 2006 so their early numbers are a good sign.
The Tigers starter tonight was Justin Verlander who allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and no walks in 6 innings and also had 6 strikeouts. They had 12 strikeouts as a team tonight including 3 for Joel Zumaya and 2 for Fernando Rodney. Both looked sharp. Jose Mesa did not look so good allowing 3 of the 4 batters he faced to reach.
Game two of the series will be tomorrow night at 7:05 with Mike Maroth facing Jorge de la Rosa.