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Tigers Finally Gain Wild Card Ground With Close Win Over Twins

If you would have told me that Yorman Bazardo would be gone before the end of the fifth inning and that Johan Santana threw eight innings, I would have thought the Tigers were toast.  Of course that only applies when Johan isn’t doing his best Jeremy Bonderman impersonation because the Tigers tagged him for four quick runs in the first inning and that was good enough for the win.

Of course if you were in Detroit, you didn’t get to see those four runs because the Yankees and Red Sox game went late.  That’s how it goes these days when national television deals trump the local ones.  So while everyone in the area got to see the Red Sox close out a blowout win over the Yankees, the Tigers were putting the only runs they’d score the entire game on the board.

The big hit of that first inning was a three run double by Ivan Rodriguez.  Carlos Guillen put the Tiger on the board just prior to that with an RBI single.  The Tigers would pick up just two hits the rest of the game but the damage was done.

Yorman Bazardo was good enough.  He got into trouble in the third but got out of it and then he got into trouble again in the fifth which was what prompted his removal.  Bobby Seay came in and pitched the Tigers out of that jam and it wouldn’t be until the seventh inning when the Twins would threaten again.  With the score 4-3, Joel Zumaya came in with one out and the bases loaded and he was able to get Joe Mauer to ground into an inning ending double play.

If they would have lost the game in the seventh, it would have been on an odd play that started with an error by Zach Miner.  Jason Kubel grounded to Miner, who turned to throw to second.  His throw went high and Ramon Santiago couldn’t get his foot down in time.  He threw to first late and then Carlos Guillen was late on a throw home to get Nick Punto for the Twins third run.  Three throws, nobody out but fortunately Zumaya pitched them out of it.

Zumaya threw a shutout ninth and then Jones closed it out for his 36th save of the season.  The Yankees lost, so the Tigers now sit 2 1/2 games back of New York.  It’ll be Jair Jurrjens this afternoon going up against Scott Baker and it goes without saying that the Tigers need a win.

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