This looked like it would have been a fun game to be at and over 38,000 fans made it out to watch the series finale against the White Sox. The Tigers got off to a good start and touched up Jon Garland for three runs in the first but he shut us down pretty much completely from then on. In the meantime, Justin Verlander gave up three runs in his seven innings and he left with the game tied 3-3. Aquilino Lopez threw the eighth and he gave up two runs to give the White Sox a 5-3 win.
David Aardsma got the Tigers out in the ninth before Carlos Guillen kept the inning alive with a single. Then Marcus Thames came in for his fourth at bat. Up until then he had a pretty tough game with two strikeouts and the only time he made contact was in the first inning when he grounded into a double play. In this case, the fourth time and a different pitcher was the charm and he drilled a high fast ball into the left field stands to tie the game up at five. Thames has three hits this season, and two of them have gone over the fence.
The Tigers got three shutout innings of relief out of Wil Ledezma and then Jason Grilli put the White Sox down in the twelth. Ivan Rodriguez drew a lead off walk in the bottom of the twelth and then Brandon Inge pushed him over to second with a bunt. Craig Monroe drew a free pass and then Placido Polanco singled home the winning run. Final was 6-5 Tigers.
Polanco finished with two RBIs and two hits and he’s hitting .377. The pinch hit walk by Ivan Rodriguez was his first free pass of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Sean Casey went two for four and it’d be nice if he was starting to hit out of his slump and the lone long ball for the Tigers was that huge homer by Thames.
Grilli picked up the win and that pushes his record to 1-1. Wil Ledezma is quietly putting together a nice season and he’s now thrown 12 1/3 with an ERA of 2.19 with his three scoreless innings today. His strikeout rate probably aren’t as high as you’d like from a reliever but he’s getting the job done. He also just missed picking up what would have been a league leading fourth win. He would have gotten had the Tigers scored an inning earlier.
This week is going to be an interesting one because the Tigers hop on a plane for a quick two game series against the Angels in Anaheim, then by Wednesday they’re in Chicago for two against the White Sox. Then on Friday, they’re back home for three against the Twins. Most of the league had a pair of two game series during the week this past week so I guess this week is the Tigers turn.