All year long, the Tigers have been pretty consistent - no long hot streaks and no long cold streaks. Every time it looks like they are going to take off, they sputter for a couple of series. Coversely, every time it looks like they are going to fade away like they have recently, they come up with a big series. They could really use one of those right now and they got off to a good start tonight beating the Indians 4-1.
Max Scherzer is one of the big keys for the Tigers this season and they need him to pitch like a top of the rotation starter down the stretch. Tonight, he did just that allowing just one run on five hits and one walk through seven innings. He also helped the Tigers avoid their shaky middle-relief staff by throwing a season-high 127 pitches.
The one run that did score against Scherzer should not have. First baseman Miguel Cabrera made a pretty good stop of a hard-hit ball to the right side in the seventh, but Cabrera stumbled trying to make the throw to Scherzer covering first and rookie third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall was safe at first with an infield single. The hit extended the inning and put runners on first and third. The lone Indians run then scored on a wild pitch by Scherzer.
Indians starter Josh Tomlin held Detroit scoreless for five innings, but the Tigers broke through in the sixth. Second baseman Ryan Raburn led off with a single and Austin Jackson followed with a two-run homer to right center field. The Tigers added two more in the seventh on solo shots by Alex Avila and Jhonny Peralta.
Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde closed it out with one perfect inning apiece. Valverde now has 36 saves in 36 opportunities for the season.
The win put the Tigers 2 1/2 ahead of the Indians. The White Sox currently trail the Rangers 7-4 in the seventh and would be five games back if they lose.