After getting shut out for 24 consecutive innings, the Tigers broke lose for 11 runs in the final three innings tonight and came back to beat the Twins 11-9. Like most games this year, this one started out ugly. The Tigers were down 5-0 in the top of the sixth and had made three errors behind starting pitcher Jeremy Bonderman. They were facing their third straight shutout and the Comerica Park fans were booing loudly.
They finally got on the board with a four run sixth on consecutive hits by Gary Sheffield, Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Guillen and Edgar Renteria. Cabrera and especially Guillen limped around the bases to score the third and fourth runs. They were down 5-4 and for the first time in three games, the Tigers and their fans had something to get excited about.
Unfortunately, they gave the four runs right back in the top of the seventh. The generally reliable Bobby Seay could not get anyone out until he had allowed a walk and three singles. The Tigers were now down 9-4 and Tiger fans hopes were crushed.. They were going to lose again and this one was particularly deflating after the come back. Even the most optimistic of fans could sense the season slipping away.
The Tigers got one back on a homer by Pudge Rodriguez off the glove of the glove of right fielder Denard Span. Then they exploded for six in the eighth off relivers Matt Guerrier and Pat Neshek. It started off with doubles by Gary Sheffield and Magglio Ordonez. Carlos Guillen singled to make it 9-7. Rodriguez eventually tied it with a two run triple to right. Jacque Jones put them ahead with sacrifice fly scoring Pudge who came up from his slide with his fist pumping in exhilaration.
Ahead 11-9 in the ninth, Todd Jones came in and got a typical Jones save. He put two runners on base and then allowed a long scary fly to left. Ryan Raburn went back near the fence, twisted around awkwardly and then reached out his glove at the last instant to make the catch. Comerica Park could now celebrate for the first time in 2008.