Armando Galarraga retired the first eight Royals this afternoon before allowing a clean single to right to David Dejesus leading off the seventh. So, the Big Cat didn't pitch a perfect game but the Tigers had a near perfect series pounding the Royals 19-4 on Monday night, 7-1 on Tuesday night and 7-1 today.
Galarraga went seven innings allowing one run on three hits while striking out a career high seven batters and walking one. Armando had probably his best slider of the year today getting batters to swing and miss at balls in the dirt and also inducing eight ground balls. Many have been predicting some regression for Galarraga down the stretch due to his low and probably not sustainable batting average on balls in play and high walk rate. His ground ball rate has just been average but if can keep the slider working like he did today, that could start going up.
The Tigers staked Galarraga to a 5-0 lead after three innings scoring two in the first, one in the second and two in the third. Placido Polanco paced the Tigers 13 hit attack with three hits apiece. Miguel Cabrera had two hits and three RBI giving him 10 for the three game series.
The Tigers could not gain any ground on the White Sox who came from behind to beat the Rangers 10-8 today so they are still 5 1/2 games out. The second place Twins lost their third straight to the Yankees and are now 2 1/2 games behind.
After an off day tomorrow, the Tigers host the White Sox in a big three game series at Comerica.
A sweep of the the White Sox seems unlikely but they really need two win this series. The scheduled pitchers are Nate Robertson, Justin Verlander and Zach Miner for the Tigers versus Gavin Floyd, John Danks and Javier Vazquez for the White Sox. With the day off tomorrow, the Tigers could skip the struggling Robertson and have Kenny Rogers pitch the third game. I don't know how likely that is but I'd like to see it happen.