The Tigers held on to edge the Dodgers 5-4 today to complete a three game sweep of the National League opponent. They now have two consecutive sweeps, the other of course coming at the hands of the first place White Sox. In six days, they have gone from eleven games out to six games out. They went 8-2 on their home stand which also included a four game split with the Indians.
Today's game got pretty scary in the ninth when a 5-0 lead almost evaporated. Bobby Seay started the inning but allowed three hits and two runs before anyone was retired. Roller coaster Jones then allowed two hits and a wild pitch and the score went to 5-4 with the tying run on second base before Delwyn Young and Juan Pierre were retired on fly balls. Some way somehow Jones has not blown a save or lost a game all year.
Nate Robertson pitched six shutout innings before being pulled after 66 pitches. I have not heard why he was lifted so early but I suspect he was just a little stiff after sitting through a rain delay and two long innings. The two long innings were the Tigers scoring three runs in the fifth and two the sixth off of Chan Ho Park who relieved Clayton Kershaw (four shutout innings) after the rain delay.
The Tigers scored all of their fifth inning runs after two were out. Brett Clevlen started it with a single and Placido Polanco, Carlos Guillen and Miguel Cabrera had RBI hits. Marcus Thames and Brandon Inge then hit back to back homers to start the sixth. Thames is now tied for the team lead with 10 homers and has done it in just 109 at bats.
The Tigers now go on another west coast trip, this one to the National League cities of San Francisco and San Diego. Game one tomorrow night looks like a classic match-up between Justin Verlander and Tim Lincecum. Verlander is coming off a complete game and has a 2.57 ERA in his last six starts. Lincecum has been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball this year posting a 1.99 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 90 2/3 innings.