This three game series with the Indians is off to a lot better start then last week’s at Cleveland. Max Scherzer got the better of an impressive pitching duel between he and Josh Tomlin as the Tigers took game one at Comerica Park. After 129 pitches, Scherzer left the game with a 2-1 lead in an impressive and important start. He gave up just one run (and even that was suspect because he should have gotten out of the inning on a blown ball call) on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts. The Tigers helped him out by getting a couple more runs and the relief duo of Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde finished up the game with a shutout inning a piece. For Valverde, he picked up his 36th save in 36 chances.
All of the runs came via the long ball. Austin Jackson showed the Tigers the way with a two run shot in the seventh. Then in the eighth, Alex Avila and Johnny Peralta hit back to back solo home runs. Peralta was the lone Tiger with two hits and while nobody drew a walk, the Tigers struck out just twice.
Then the controversy started. After the game it was announced that the Tigers would send down Andy Dirks in place of Brandon Inge. I like this move for a few different reasons. One, Inge is a lot better then Betemit against lefties. Two, Inge is better defensively and they now have have way too many outfielders. Finally, it’s a chance for Inge to earn a spot on the playoff roster. It’ll be interesting to see if he rises to the challenge.
The White Sox lost their third straight so that helped as well. The Tigers now have a 2 1/2 game lead over the Indians (one in the loss column) and a five game lead over the White Sox. Game two against Cleveland is tonight. It’ll be Doug Fister going up against David Huff. I know it’s a small sample size, but Inge is three for five in his career against Huff, who’s a lefty. Just something to watch.