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Curtis Granderson Belts 20th Homerun In Tigers Third Straight Win

The Tigers have put together a nice little winning streak and in the process, they’ve moved into sole possession of second place in the American League Wild Card race.  As I’m writing this, the Yankees and Royals are tied 2-2 and if KC can pull it out, then the Tigers will pick up a game and move to within two games of the Yankees.

Curtis Granderson belted his 20th homerun and with one more stolen base, he’ll join just Willie Mays (the last to do it back in 1957) and Frank Schulte as the only hitter to steal 20 bases and rack up 20 triples, 20 doubles and 20 homeruns.  When you bump the double total up to 30, then Granderson would sit with just Schulte and no hitter has picked up 40 doubles, 20 triples, 20 stolen bases and 20 homers.  He also has a shot at becoming the first modern baseball hitter to pick up both 25 homeruns and 25 triples in the same season.  He’d need a great month but the only hitter to ever do that was Buck Freeman back in 1899.

Justin Verlander won his 16th game of the season with eight inning solid frames in the 6-1 win.  He gave up just one run on seven hits.  He had just three strikeouts but he didn’t walk anybody and he got it all done on just 92 pitches.  He even had to contend with a half hour rain delay in the fifth inning.  Joel Zumaya pitched a shutout ninth to close things out and that was that.

Magglio Ordonez went two for three with a walk and he broke a tie in the batting title race with Ichiro, who went 0 for 4.  Ordonez sits at .354 while Ichiro fell to .349.  Ordonez also sits at 186 hits and he should become the first Tiger to pick up 200 hits since Alan Trammell in 1987.  If Placido Polanco can get there with 28 more hits, it would be the first time since 1937 that the Tigers had two hitters with 200 hits.  In 1937, they had four hitters pick up 200 hits. 

Tomorrow, it’ll be Nate Robertson going up against Jeff Weaver in an evening game.  Robertson was solid his last time out and hopefully he can follow that up with another nice outing.

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