The Tigers bounced back from last night's sloppy fielding and umpiring to top the Mariners 6-3 tonight. Gary Sheffield put the Tigers ahead 4-1 with a grand slam in the 3rd inning, his 22nd homer of the year. Jeremy Bonderman then went on to give up 3 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings for his third straight strong start. He struck out 5 (including Ichiro Suzuki twice), walked nobody and induced 11 ground ball outs but he also gave up a couple of home runs to Jose Guillen in the third and Adrian Beltre in the 7th. Luckily they were solo shots. Not walking people will do that for you.
The other big blast for the Tigers was by Sean Casey who hit his second home run of the year in the 7th. The ball was crushed to right and it was the most power we've seen from The Mayor this year. Casey is now up to .302/.367/.405 after his slow start. It's still not the kind of production you want to see from a first baseman but not embarrassing either.
Marcus Thames played first base and extended his hitting streak to 9 games with 2 more hits tonight. He is batting .351 with 4 homers and 3 doubles during that stretch. He continues to play regularly in left field versus righties and at first base versus lefties.
Brandon Inge played some spectacular defense tonight to help preserve the lead. He made a Brooks Robinsonesque diving catch to his right on a hard liner in the 7th. He then charged in and made a bare handed grab and quick throw to first on a squibbler in the 8th. Casey also made a nice scoop on the back end of that one.
Ryan Raburn got his first Major League start tonight playing center field in place of Curtis Granderson against the lefty Jarrod Washburn. He went 0 for 2 with 2 walks and a run scored. He had an uneventful game in center field which is a good thing.
Game 3 will be tomorrow night at 10:00 with Kenny Rogers facing Miguel Batista.