The Tigers ended a very exciting early season 4 game series today by losing 2-1 and settling for a split. Josh Towers stymied the Tigers holding them to 3 hits in 7 2/3 innings this afternoon. The unlucky loser was Nate Robertson who allowed just 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks in 7 innings.
The winning run scored in the 7th on a mental error by Sean Casey. With Royce Clayton on second and one out, John McDonald singled to right. Casey took the relay from Gary Sheffield (starting in place of Magglio Ordonez who DHed), looked towards third and failed to see that Clayton was coming around to score. Clayton would have been an easy out but Casey held onto the ball and the run scored. Apparently, Casey was looking at the third base coach who was trying to hold up Clayton. After seeing this, his attention towards to McDonald who made it safely to second.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the top of the first when Granderson singled, moved to second when Sheffield was hit by the pitch and came around to score when Towers threw wild and hit Granderson on an attempted pickoff. As Rod Allen remarked, it was the type of aggressive scoring play that would have made Jackie Robinson proud. (More about Jackie Robinson Day from Ian Casselberry at Bless You Boys).
Granderson made only the second error of his career when he threw the ball all the way to backstop in the second inning allowing Lyle Overbay to move up to second after his single. He quickly made up for it though by throwing out Overbay on a perfect thow to the plate ending the inning.
It was a thrilling 4 game series against the Blue Jays that almost reminded one of the two series between these two clubs at the end of 1987. The series started with a one run Tigers victory on Thursday. Friday night was a loss but it was a pitcher's duel for the ages between Jeremy Bonderman and Roy Halladay. Yesterday, the Tigers came from behind with a 4 run 9th. Today was another another one run game. It's a shame these two geogrpahical rivals are done for the season except for one make-up game in September.
The Tigers have finished their 10 game road trip with a 6-4 record. They now go home for 6 games against the Rokals and White Sox. Tomorrow night at 7:05, it will be Justin Verlander against the Royals' Zack Greinke.