The Tigers won, but with just over two weeks left in the season, the Tigers also need help and they didn’t get any last night. The Yankees stormed back and scored six runs in the eighth inning to beat the Red Sox and even the Indians came back and won. So at the end of the night, they were still 3 1/2 games (four losses) back of the Yankees for that Wild Card. Their elimination magic number is down to 12 and at this point, the Tiges have to be close to perfect get that Wild Card spot.
Nate Robertson gave the Tigers seven quality innings. He gave up just two runs on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts and he improved to 8-11. Somehow, Tim Byrdak was given a hold despite not getting a baserunner out (he hit Joe Mauer to lead off the eighth and then he came out of the game), and both Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones threw a shutout inning of relief. Rodney struck out two of three batters he faced.
The Tigers big inning was the sixth. Down 2-1, Ivan Rodriguez drove in a run with a bases loaded walk (just his ninth walk of the season) and Timo Perez broke the tie with a two run single. Perez also put the Tigers on the board in the second with an RBI single and he finished three for four to keep his batting average well above .429.
Tonight, Yorman Bazardo makes his first career start and he’ll have the unenviable task of outpitching Johan Santana to win that game. I’m not counting the Tigers out, but this would be a pretty big win if they could manage it…somehow.