The first two games of this week's series versus the Mets were ugly. The Tigers were routed 14-6 on Tuesday night and shutout 5-0 last night. They avoided a sweep tonight by holding off the Mets in a 6-5 squeaker. The win left the Tigers a half game behind the Twins, who were swept by the Brewers. The streaking White Sox have now won nine in a row and have pulled to within 2 1/2 games of first.
The Tigers had a 6-1 lead in the sixth but the Mets scored three in the bottom of the sixth and one in the seventh to pull to within one run. The Tigers secured the victory with some clutch relief pitching. With the bases loaded and one out in the seventh, Phil Coke struck out David Wright and got Ike Davis to fly to Austin Jackson in center field. Joel Zumaya allowed two hits but no runs in the eighth and Jose Valverde pitched a one-two-three ninth. Valverde now has a 0.57 ERA and has allowed just 10 hits in 30 1/3 innings.
Offensively, the Tigers jumped out to their early lead on the strength of a two run homer by Magglio Ordonez (two hits on the night) in the third and a two run shot by Ryan Raburn (three for three) in the fifth. Other Tigers with multiple hits were Miguel Cabrera with two and Brennan Boesch with three.
Boesch now has 202 plate appearances leaving him 18 shy of the number he needs to qualify for leadership in various batting categories. To qualify, a player needs to have a PA total of 3.1 times the number of games played by his team. For the Tigers, that is 71 games times 3.1 = 220. Among players with 200 PA, Boesch's .346 batting average is third in the league. He leads in slugging average (.632) and is third in OPS (1.031).