Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rick Porcello Pitches Tigers into First

The Tigers moved into first place today for the first time since May 1 after beating the White Sox 7-1 behind eight strong innings from Rick Porcello.  Matched against Chicago ace left hander Chris Sale, Porcello responded with one of his best starts as a Tiger allowing just one run on five hits and no walks.  The only run came in the fifth on a seeing-eye single to the right side, a ground out and a bloop hit. 

Manager Jim Leyland gave Porcello a chance at his first career complete game, but he apparently tired in the ninth allowing hard-hit singles to the first two batters.  He left with nobody out in the ninth and received a standing ovation from 42,888 fans at Comerica Park.  The reliable Joaquin Benoit closed out the inning to preserve the victory.

It took the Tigers a while to get to Sale, but they touched him for a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth giving them a 2-1 lead they would never relinquish.  After the first two batters were retired, Gerald Laird and Danny Worth came through with singles and Austin Jackson scored both with a double.  Brennan Boesch then added a three-run homer to right in the sixth to make it 5-1.  Finally, Jackson capped it with a two-run single in the eighth. 

The Tigers are rumored to looking to acquire another starting pitcher by the July 31 trading deadline.  However, the last four games suggest they may not need one:
  • Wednesday - Doug Fister pitched eight innings giving up just one run on two hits with ten strikeouts versus a dangerous Angels line-up.
  • Thurday - Max Scherzer allowed just one run and recorded nine punch outs in seven innings against the Angels.
  • Friday - Justin Verlander surrendered just two runs in eight innings versus the then first-place White Sox.  
  • Today - Porcello's gem described above.
The Tigers will go for a sweep tomorrow afternoon when rookie Jacob Turner faces right hander Phil Humber.

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