In a game that neither team seemed to want to win, the Tigers finally ended it thanks to the batting of two unlikely heroes. It was 1-1 in the 11th inning and 22 men had been left on base, 14 by the Tigers. In the bottom of the 11th, the badly slumping Brandon Inge doubled with two outs. The White Sox then walked Carlos Guillen to pitch to Timo Perez. With Health Phillips pitching in his first major league game, it was lefty versus lefty and Tigers fans feared two more LOBs but Timo smashed a hard liner all the way to the right field wall for a walk off hit. The Comerica Park crowd erupted into a chant of Timo! Timo! Timo! as Perez returned to the dugout.
The big news in the early part of the game was Kenny Rogers pitching 5 solid innings in his first start off the disabled list. He was quite sharp allowing just 2 hits and piling up 6 strikeouts. The only run came on a homer to Danny Richar in the third. The Tigers also received stellar relief pitching as Tim Byrdak, Joel Zumaya, Fernando Rodney, Todd Jones and Bobby Seay combinedto pitch 6 scoreless innings on just 2 hits.
Offensively, it was another frustrating first 10 innings as the Tigers has plenty of base runners and 6 stolen bases but could not bring anybody around to score. The only run before the 11th inning walk off was a home run by Mike Hessman who started at third base in place of Inge. Tigers with multiple hits were Pudge Rodriguez who had a double and 2 singles and Perez with 2 singles. Curtis Granderson did not have a great night going 1 for 6 but he did steal 2 bases to move closer to the Quadruple 20:
19 stolen bases
It's hard to get really excited about a team which has gone 17-29 since July 19th, is 7 games out of first and trailing 2 teams in the wild card chase. But Rogers is back, Sheffield returns tomorrow and Timo is a hero so there is still hope.