Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Miller, Ordonez Lead Tigers Over Twins

For the second straight night, the Tigers eked out a one run victory in the dreaded Metrodome. This time it was 3-2 versus the always tough Johan Santana. As usual, Andrew Miller was a bit wild but tough to hit. He allowed 4 hits and 4 walks and struck out 5 in 5 innings. The only run he gave up was in the 5th when he loaded the bases on a single and two walks and then hit Justin Morneau with a pitch to force in a run.

Miller left with a 3-1 lead thanks mostly to Magglio Ordonez who knocked in all 3 Tigers runs. Ryan Raburn, playing center field for Curtis Granderson against the left-handed Santana, lead off the 4th inning with a double. Placido Polanco followed with a single and Magglio Ordonez smashed a one out two run double to put the Tigers in front 2-0. Ordonez added a solo homer in the top of the 6th for his 3rd RBI of the game. This was great to see, not only because they needed it tonight, but also because Ordonez had had only two extra base hits since June 19th coming into the game.

Jim Leyland used a parade of 5 relievers - Jason Grilli, Bobby Seay, Chad Durbin, Macay McBride and Todd Jones - to get the team through the last 4 innings. They combined to allow 6 hits and one hit batsman and seemed to be in constant trouble but allowed only one run. It was a frustrating night for the Twins who left 14 men on base. McBride was helped out by Marcus Thames who made a fantastic diving and tumbling catch of a fly ball off the bat of Joe Mauer to end the 8th inning.

With the Indians 5-1 loss to the White Sox today, the Tigers pulled 2 games out in front in the AL Central. The Tigers go for a sweep of the series tomorrow afternoon when Jeremy Bonderman faces Scott Baker

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