Brandon Inge made a diving catch of a soft broken bat liner off the bat of Jhonny Peralta with a man on first and two outs in the bottom of ninth to save a 6-5 victory for the Tigers tonight. The Tigers had a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth but the Cardiac kitties of 2009 don't like to win easy. Bobby Seay gave up a run in relief of Justin Verlander without retiring a batter in the eighth to make it 6-3. Brandon Lyon got them out of that mess but the game wasn't over yet. After retiring the first two batters in the ninth, Fernando Rodney then gave up a two run homer to Shin-Soo Choo and suddenly it was 6-5. Travis Haffner followed with a single to center setting up the Inge play.
Justin Verlander was not quite as dominant as his 11 strikeouts look on paper but he allowed just two runs in seven innings. He struggled a bit with his control and labored through a 37 pitch third inning where he gave up the two runs but settled down after that. Verlander now has 256 strikeouts which is the fifth highest total for a Tigers pitcher in the history of the franchise. His 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings is easily an all-time best for a Tigers starter. No other Tiger has had as many as nine per nine innings.
The hitting hero for the second straight night was Carlos Guillen who went 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. That gives him six hits and five RBI in his last two games. Carlos has a .945 OPS in 157 at bats since returning from his shoulder injury.
The victory gave the Tigers a sweep of the Indians and increased their lead over the idle Twins by three games. Now, it's on to Chicago for a three game weekend series versus the White Sox.