Andrew Miller pitched 7 strong innings and Marcus Thames drove in 5 runs as the Tigers ripped the Red Sox 9-2 tonight. The Red Sox did not have their best line-up as David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis were resting with minor injuries but Miller's 7 inning 1 run performance was still impressive. He had his usual spotty control (4 walks) but allowed only 3 hits and did a nice job working his way out of trouble a few times. I was encouraged that he seemed to be relying less on the fastball and mixing in his slider a little more often than in previous games.
The Red Sox scored their only run off Miller in the third when Julio Lugo drew a two out walk, stole second and scored on a single by Coco Crisp. They might have scored more runs that inning if it were not for a terrific defensive play by Curtis Granderson and Mike Rabelo. With Wily Mo Pena on third and nobody out, Rookie Jeff Bailey hit a fly ball to Granderson in his first Major League at bat. Granderson made a perfect throw to the plate, and Rabelo made the catch and tag with Pena sliding into him for the fly out throw out double play.
The Tigers took the lead with a 3 run 4th. Magglio Ordonez had an RBI single, Thames a sacrifice fly and Brandon Inge an RBI double. they then broke the game open with a 5 run 5th. Curtis Granderson led off with his 12th homer of the season and Marcus Thames (who had 5 RBI on the night) capped it with a grand slam. The final run scored when rookie Ryan Raburn got a pinch hit single in his first at bat of the year in the 8th.
The Tigers are now tied for first place with the Indians who lost to the Blue Jays 8-6 tonight. Tomorrow night, Jeremy Bonderman will be matched up against rookie Kason Gabbard.