A very happy looking Tigers team slugged eight extra base hits to defeat the Yankees 8-4 tonight completing a rare three game sweep at Yankee Stadium. How rare was it? It was their first sweep at Yankee Stadium since 1966 which it means it was the first in my 41 years as a Tigers fan.
It actually didn't start out too well as Nate Robertson allowed a three run homer to Bobby Abreu in the first inning. The Tigers have made a habit of recovering from early deficits though and tonight was no different. They took the lead with a four run third inning highlighted by a two run double by Magglio Ordonez (three hits on the night) and an RBI triple by Miguel Cabrera.
After the Yankees tied it 4-4 in the fifth, the Tigers came back with two in the sixth on a two run triple by Ramon Santiago. Santiago, who was spelling Edgar Renteria at shotstop also doubled and scored earlier in the game. Cabrera then capped the scoring with an opposite field two run blast in the seventh.
It was another good night for the bullpen. Zach Miner entered the game in the sixth inning with two men on base and got out of it with no runs scoring. He followed that up with two more scoreless innings. Francisco Cruceta then made his debut as a Tiger in the ninth. He walked the first batter he faced and then went 2-0 on the second batter prompting Jim Leyland to go out to the mound. Leyland gave him a very quick message - probably something like: "throw strikes". Cruceta then got the next three batters to complete the sweep.
Now just a game below .500 after their horrible start, the Tigers head to Minnesota for a series at the always tough Metrodome. Tomorrow night, it will be Armando Galarrago versus Livan Hernandez at 8:10.
Note: Be sure to check out Billfer's post on how often Tigers batters swing at pitches inside and outside the strike zone. Contrary to popular belief, they have been extremely patient as a team so far this year. This might explain why a team that was third to the bottom in walks last year, leads the league this year.