The Twins picked a good time to go cold because the Tigers have one of the softer parts of their schedule here in early July. They took two of three against the Mariners and now they face what many people is the worst team in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles. Of course they have the Twins later in the week before they take some time off for the All Star Break.
Andy Oliver was roughed up yesterday but fortunately, the bats were there to pick him up. He didn’t pitch out of the second inning and by the time the inning was over, a 5-1 lead had turned into a 6-5 deficit. Fortunately the Tigers answered quickly and took the lead in the bottom half of the inning and never really looked back.
After that, five relievers gave up three runs over seven innings. Eddie Bonine picked up the win and he improved to 4-0. Ryan Perry continued his successful return with a shutout inning. Jose Valverde saw his ERA nearly double when he gave up two runs in the ninth inning in a save situation.
Brennan Boesch drew four walks and scored three runs without picking up a hit. Johnny Damon went three for six with two runs and Brandon Inge went three for four with two doubles and four RBIs.
This is also the half way point of the season so the Tigers are on pace to win 88 games. About what you’d figure out of the AL Central leader. Things are definitely tight with the resurgence of the White Sox though as one game separates first and third.
Armando Galarraga throws tonight. Jake Arrieta throws for the Orioles.