After losing the opener 5-4 in 11 innings to Cleveland on Tuesday night, the Tigers were down 6 games to 2 in the season series versus the Indians. They had also lost 5 of 7 on the homestand and had fallen 3 games behind the Indians in the American League Central. They needed to bounce back fast and they did. They won 6-4 last night and 12-3 this afternoon to take the 3 game series 2 games to 1.
Last night, they got another solid start from Kenny Rogers who allowed 1 earned run on 7 hits in 5 1/3 innings against one of the league's best offenses. He left with the Tigers in front 5-2 but there were 2 men on base and the Tigers bullpen does not exactly inspire confidence. The bullpen made us feel uneasy the rest of the way but got the job done. Jason Grilli got them out of the 6th but allowed a leadoff walk in the 7th. Macay McBride allowed a 2 run homer to Travis Hafner to make it 5-4 but Zach Miner finished off the inning. Miner allowed 2 hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings of work but no runs. Todd Jones preserved the win with a 1-2-3 9th.
The Tigers big inning was the 4th when they scored 3 runs. With runners on first and third and one out, Brandon Inge executed a suicide squeeze for the first run. Curtis Granderson knocked in another run with a double and Placido Polanco followed with an RBI single. In the 7th, they excited the full house at Comerica with rare back to back triples by Carlos Guillen and Ivan Rodriguez. The pitchers were also supported by some excellent defensive plays from Inge, Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez among others.
Today, the Tigers fearsome hitting attack returned after disappearing for much of the homestand. They took a 5-2 lead with a 4 run 3rd inning which was highlighted by a 3 run homer off the bat of Guillen. They added 2 more in the 4th on a 2 run homer by Gary Sheffied to make it 7-2. They then broke the game open with a 5 run explosion featuring a 2 run double by Sean Casey in the 6th.
This was more than enough for Justin Verlander who rebounded from a poor start against the Twins with 7 strong innings today. He allowed just 2 earned runs on 6 hits in 7 innings. He also had 7 strikeouts including 5 in a row at one point.
The Tigers complete their 12 game homestand with a three game series versus the Red Sox starting tomorrow night. It will be Nate Robertson, Jeremy Bonderman and Andrew Miller versus Julian Taveras, kason Gabbard and Daisuke Matsuzaka.