The Tigers scored 4 runs in the 9th today to break a 3-3 tie and then held on to win 7-5. The best thing about this game was that they probably came through in more tough situations than in other game this year. Jeremy Bonderman allowed 12 hits but walked nobody and got big outs when he needed them getting through 7 innings allowing just 3 runs. He got some help from Curtis Granderson who made a very good running catch in the 5th and then gunned down a runner at third with an excellent throw in the sixth. Placido Polanco also made a nice diving stop to get an out earlier in the game
Zach Miner survived a Magglio Ordonez error in in the 8th by working his way out of a runner on third and one out mess. The clutchness continued in the 9th when Brandon Inge worked a one out walk off of closer JJ Putz. Curtis Granderson then hit three vicious line drives in one at bat, the first two twisting foul and the third one staying fair for a single. Placido Polanco followed with a run scoring single. Magglio Ordonez then got an infield hit on a misplay by third basemen Adrian Beltre to plate another run. And finally the frustrating Miguel Cabrera doubled home two more to make it 7-3.
I don't know if you want to call Todd Jones' performance "clutch" but he continued his record of not blowing a lead all year. He did however allow a mammoth two run homer to Raul Ibanez and managed to put the potential tying run at the plate before retiring the last two batters.
So, it was a positive game and it gave them a 2-1 series victory over the Mariners. It should be noted, of course, that the Mariners are struggling even more than the Tigers. Also, the second game of the series was shutout number nine for the Bengals. They need to put several series victories together in a row before we can get excited. The best news of the season continues to be the fact that nobody seems to want the AL central. The Tigers picked up a game on the White Sox today and are somehow just six games out of first place.
Guillen in left
Carlos Guillen played his first game in left field today while Inge replaced him at third. It was a rather uneventful day for Guillen but he did make all the plays that came to him. He did make a couple of sub-par throws but they did no damage. Jim Leyland did not indicate that this would be a permanent arrangement but I don't think it's a one game thing either. I'm still a bit skeptical of Guillen's ability to handle the outfield on a regular basis but I like the idea of Inge at third so I hope Leyland gives it some time to see if it works.