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Devil Rays and Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin was bumped up to Double A yesterday but his debut was pushed back because of a rain delay.  It’ll be interesting to see what the outfielder can do now that he’s playing a more hitter friendly league.  I expect a few more homers then what he’s done of late but then again, the jump to Double A is one of the toughest so it’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts.

The Tigers lost yesterday and managed just a split against the Devil Rays.  They did get a little unlucky because they saw both James Shields and Scott Kazmir but when you factor in the fact it was a four game series, you’d almost have to expect to see that.  Jeremy Bonderman’s struggles have been particularly troubling as he’s dropped and been roughed up in four straight starts.  At this point, Bonderman’s close to touching a 5.00 ERA, something he hasn’t done since early in 2006.  Bonderman just seems very hittable.  He’s given up at least eight hits a start in his last five and his batting average against is a pedestrian .273.  Last year’s was .259.

The Tigers managed just a single run on an RBI single by Omar Infante and that wasn’t until the seventh inning.  Marcus Thames went two for four and he scored in his first game back from a rehab assignment and Placido Polanco, with his two hits, passed Magglio Ordonez in the batting race and he sits just a point back of Ichiro for the batting title.

The Indians won so the Tigers fell back another game in the Central.  It looks like Travis Hafner is going to be on the shelf so they have injury concerns of their own.  Don’t count out the Twins though, who sit five games back of Detroit.  They’ve been playing .500 ball, but that’s been good enough to pick up some ground on the Tigers.  In the Wild Card, the Tigers loss puts them in a tie with the Yankees a game back of the Mariners (two losses).  The Tigers can take care of business the next two weeks when they go head to head with the Yankees and Indians.  The Tigers still have a series with the Mariners in September so they can help out there cause there as well.

Next up is a wrap around series against the Athletics.  I’ll be at the game on Sunday.  Game one will have Jordan Tata going up aganst Joe Blanton tonight and the most interesting matchup is tomorrow.  Justin Verlander will get a rematch against Dan Haren in a battle of two guys contending for the Cy Young.

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