Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tigers Come Back, Sweep Rangers

kevin Millwood blanked the Tigers for seven innings today. Last year, they were shutout more times than any other team despite finishing fourth in the league in runs scored. I was thinking: here we go again. But I was also thinking that the Rangers have an awful bullpen so if they can just get Millwood out of there, there was a chance.

C.J. Wilson took over for Millwood in the eighth and the Tigers broke loose. Brandon Inge greeted him with an opposite field home run, a league leading fourth of the year. Adam Everett followed with a single and then rookie short Elvis Andrus misplayed Curtis Granderson's soft liner. That put runners on first and second with nobody out and suddenly the Tiger were back in the game. They scored a second run when Polanco pulled a double down the third base line. They eventually tied the game 4-4 on another double down the line, this one by Carlos Guillen. Inge then put the team ahead 6-4 with a two run single to cap the six run inning.

For the second time in two days, Fernando Rodney came in with a chance for a save and for the second time, he retired the Rangers 1-2-3. He got some help from Inge who made a beautiful bare handed play on a bunt by Nelson Cruz. Rodney has now pitched three games without allowing a base runner. Brandon Lyon also pitched two perfect innings so the Tigers bullpen has now pitched seven consecutive scoreless inning over two games. That's something we certainly did not see last year.

Edwin Jackson was not nearly as sharp as he was in his first game. His control was off and he allowed a pair of two run homers to Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler in the first three innings. He managed to keep the team in the game though working his way out of jams in the fourth and fifth. He gave up four runs on five hits and three walks in six innings.

The first place Bengals will now host the White Sox in a three game series Monday through Wednesday.

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