The Tigers defeated the Blue Jays 5-1 this afternoon behind the pitching of Armando Galarraga who made his second straight solid start in place of the injured Dontrelle Willis. The Big Cat loaded the bases twice but managed to pitch shutout ball for 5 1/3 innings. From there, the bullpen took over with Clay Rapada, Aquilino Lopez and Denny Bautista pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings. The only Blue Jay run was a solo homer by Gregg Zaun in the ninth off of Todd Jones.
The Tigers offense did most of the damage in a four run second inning versus Blue Jays starer Shaun Marcum. The highlights of that inning were a two run single by Ryan Raburn, a sacrifice fly by Brandon Inge and an RBI single by Pudge Rodriguez (4 hits on the day). Edgar Renteria added a solo shot in the sixth, his third of the year.
The victory was the Tigers first afternoon win of the year after ten losses and it salvaged a split of their four game series with the Blue Jays. They now go home for a three game series versus the Rangers with Justin Verlander facing Vicente Padilla in game one.
Placido Polanco's MRI revealed no structural damage in his lower back and it's possible he might be ready for the Rangers series. He has been put on medication to reduce inflammation. Ryan Raburn got another start at second base today.
If you noticed that the starting staff has been a bigger problem that the bullpen this year, CHASFH from motownsports provided some quick stats to back it up. Now, a 5.04 ERA is not good (the AL average is 4.13 for relievers) but it's better than the starter ERA of 6.11 (AL Avg = 4.30). Take away Zach Miner and Jason Grilli and the bullpen ERA is 2.22.