Elijah Dukes chopped a single into left field off Todd Jones scoring two runs in the ninth inning tonight as the Devil Rays Edged the Tigers 6-5. Chad Durbin had another solid if unspectacular start allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks in 6 innings. He has now allowed 3 earned runs or fewer in 7 consecutive starts. He left with a 5-2 lead but, once again, the bullpen did not get the job done.
Zach Miner allowed a run in the 7th to make it 5-3. That was not all his fault as Curtis Granderson made a questionable decision diving for a shallow fly and turning a single into a triple. Jim Leyland made like Tony LaRussa using 4 different pitchers for 4 different batters in the 8th. One run scored to make it 5-4. Again the defense was partly at fault as Mike Rabelo threw wild to second on a stolen base attempt. The big culprit tonight though was the usually reliable Todd Jones. He allowed two singles, a sacrifice bunt, an intentional walk before giving up the winning hit to Dukes.
Offensively, the Tigers had 11 hits and 4 walks but hit into 2 doubleplays and left 7 men on base. Gary Sheffield had a good night with a home run, 2 walks and 2 stolen bases. I actually have been more impressed with Sheffield's base running than anything else he has done this year. I did not realize he was such a good base runner. Magglio Ordonez, Mike Rabelo and Omar Infante each had 2 hits for the Tigers.
Tomorrow night, it will be Jeremy Bonderman versus Casey Fossum. Hopefully, they will get a lot of innings out of Bonderman to minimize the use of the bullpen.