With Marcus Thames up at the plate, the Tigers were one strike away from a sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros. However, Thames managed to work a walk versus Astros closer Jose Valverde and the Tigers still had a life. Brandon Inge then crushed a two run homer to left to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead. It was Inge's 18th homer of the year and several of them have come in clutch situations late in games. Brandon had a slight limp as he rounded the bases on his homer as he had injured his leg running out an infield hit earlier in the game
Inge also scored the Tigers first run after his infield hit in the fifth. Inge ran the bases tentatively and slid into homeplate awkwardly on a double by Gerald Laird. Curtis Granderson scored the second run on a solo shot in the sixth tying the game at two at the time. He also has 18 homers tying him with Inge for the team lead.
Edwin Jackson had another quality start allowing three runs on seven hits and no walks in seven innings but left trailing 3-2. Jackson is second in the American League with a 2.45 ERA but has only six wins because he has received the worst run support in the American League - just under 4 runs per game. Last year, he had a 4.42 ERA but won 14 games thanks, in part, to excellent run support (5.0 runs per game) from the Rays.
Fernando Rodney got his 16th save in 16 official opportunities by pitching a scoreless ninth. He is eighth in the league in Win Probability Added, a statistic with takes into account the situations in which relievers have pitched:
Table: AL Win Probability Added Leaders
Aardsma, Sea 2.65
Papelbon, Bos 2.41
Francisco, Tex 2.00
Johnson, Bal 1.62
White Sea 1.57
Sherrill Bal 1.48
O'Day, Tex 1.43
Rodney, Det 1.39
The Tigers made a couple of moves today. First, Nate Robertson has been on the disabled list with a mass in his elbow which will require surgery. Kurt was the first Tigers blogger or beat writer to report the story which originated at the East Windup Chronicle. Taiwanese left-hander Fu-Te Ni has been called up from Toledo to take his place.
After the game, the Tigers announce that Alfredo Figaro has been sent down to Toledo and will be replaced by Lucas French. The left-handed French will pitch against the left-handed heavy Twins line-up next weekend.