In a near carbon copy of Friday night's game, the Tigers shutout the Braves 5-0 tonight to complete a sweep of the three game weekend series. Just as on Friday, tonight's game was scoreless until the Tigers batted around in the 6th. This time, they scored 4 runs in the inning which turned out to be more than enough. The nice thing about today's game is that the new pitching allignment went perfectly according to plan. Newly annointed full-time starter Andrew Miller pitched 6 scoreless innings and starter turned reliever Chad Durbin pitched 3 scoreless innings for the save.
In his 6 innings of work, Andrew Miller allowed 4 hits and two walks and struck out 2. He was removed in the 7th after walking Andruw Jones to lead off the inning. As in previous starts, Miller relied almost exclusively on his fastball. He was able to survive due to good control and excellent movement. I'm not sure how long he can get away with just one pitch but he had no problems tonight.
Durbin struck out 3, walked 1 and allowed 2 singles in his 3 innings. It was an encouraging performance and an indication that he could be quite valuable in his new role. I think his role will be a middle to long reliever who bridges the gap between the starters and the short relievers. However, The bullpen is currently in flux and I'm not sure if anything other than Todd Jones as the closer is really set right now.
The 4 run 6th began with a beautiful bunt single by Omar Infante, playing center field in place of Curtis Granderson with lefty Chuck James on the mound. They chipped away with 4 singles, 2 walks and a hit batsman. The runs scored on an RBI single by Gary Sheffield, a bases loaded walk to Carlos Guillen and a 2 run single by Pudge Rodriguez. Chad Durbin, who looked pretty good up at the plate, drove home another run with a sacrifice fly in the 8th.
Ordonez had 2 singles in 5 trips and is currently batting a league leading .381. He has been so good this year that a 2 for 5 day with no extra base hits almost feels like a let down.
Wil Ledezma pitched again for the Braves tonight. After striking out the side in the 9th on Friday, he allowed a run on hit in the 8th inning tonight. Speaking of which, Eric is not too happy with the Ledezma for Macay McBride exchange.
The win gave the Tigers a 14-4 record this year and 29-7 record over the last 2 years in interleague play. They will now play only American League teams for the rest of the year. Next up is a 13 game homestand versus the Rangers, Twins, Indians and Red Sox