The game was tied five to five with the based loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth. It would have been a great spot for Miguel Cabrera but the Tigers clean-up hitter had been removed from the game earlier for a pinch runner. Instead, it was Clete Thomas versus Angels reliever Jason Bulger. Thomas had been struggling going 3 for 24 since his two homer game versus the Orioles last weekend. This time, however, Clete drilled a one ball one strike pitch to left field for a grand slam to put the Tigers up 9-5. Cabrera could have done no better and the Tigers went on to win 9-6.
The Tigers actually went into the bottom of the eighth trailing 5-4 but tied it without the benefit of a hit. Jose Arredondo and Jason Bulger loaded the bases on walks and then Placido Polanco hit a shallow fly to center which was caught by Gary Mathews Jr.. Ryan Raburn scored when Mathews's throw bounced off Bulger's glove. The play ended when Raburn avoided the tag by diving head first to the left of the plate in reached out with his right hand to touch the plate. Magglio Ordonez then walked to reload the bases prior to Thomas's slam.
It was not a well pitched game by either side as there were 15 walks - nine issued by Angels hurlers and six by the Tigers. Rick Porcello went five innings allowing four runs, three in the first inning on a pair of home runs. The bullpen was not awful but they did blow a 4-3 lead. Perry gave up three hits and one of Porcello's runs in the sixth and Joel Zumaya allowed a bases loaded walk in the eighth. Fernando Rodney then allowed another run in the ninth.
Marcus Thames had a successful return from his oblique strain going two for five. They are going to need him in the upcoming five game series versus the White Sox as the Tigers will face three lefties.
Cabrera walked twice today but was removed from the game for a pinch runner as his hamstring is still not at full strength. I doubt he will be able to start both games of tomorrow's double header.