The Tigers lost the first game of their much awaited series with the Indians 7-4. Nate Robertson failed to make it through 6 innings for the 4th straight start. He allowed 5 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks in 5 2/3 innings. Three of the hits were homers by Casey Blake, Victor Martinez and Josh Barfield. The Tigers were down 5-1 when he left the game.
The Tigers closed the gap to 5-3 with two runs in the bottom of the 6th on doubles by Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen and a single by Ivan Rodriguez. Craig Monroe then lined a homer to left leading off the 7th to make it 5-4. Monroe had earlier been robbed of a three run homer in the second when Jason Michaels reached over the fence and pulled in a long fly. A comeback was looking very possible but they stopped at 4 runs. The Indians added two runs in the 9th for the 7-4 final.
Wil Ledezma was sharp tonight. He ended the 6th with a strikeout and pitched two scoreless innings before leaving with two outs in the 8th. Tim Byrdak ended that inning with a strikeout. However, Byrdak started the 9th by walking Blake and allowing a triple to Travis Hafner who eventually scored on a sarifice fly.
One of the best parts of the night was listening to Ernie Harwell who subbed for Rod Allen for the second straight game. Ernie will always be the voice of summer and I'm always a kid again when I hear him. Unfortunately, he did not do any play by play but he was a great story teller as always.
The lost put the Indians in first place a half game ahead of the Tigers. The Tigers will try to regain the lead in game 2 of the series which will be on Fox at 3:55 tomorrow afternoon. Unfortunately, many won't be able to see it as 92% of the country including much of the midwest will be shown another game. Thankfully, it is supposed to be aired in Boston so I'll be able to see it. It should be a great matchup between Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia