The Tigers avoided a sweep for the second straight road series by pulling out a win in their finale against the Braves today. Brennan Boesch bounced back from a rough game yesterday and he belted a two run home run, his 12th of the season. In the meantime, the Tigers racked up seventeen hits, all of which were singles outside of Boesch’s fifth inning blast. Austin Jackson went three for five with two runs and two RBIs in the 10-4 win. Carlos Guillen was three for three and Boesch finished with two hits, three RBIs and two runs.
Justin Verlander didn’t have his best stuff but it was good enough to improve to 9-5. He gave up four runs on six hits and two walks with six strikeouts in seven innings. Phil Coke and Jose Valverde then threw a shutout inning each to close out the game. Verlander’s ERA isn’t much to write home about at 4.02 but he’s on pace for a possible 20 win season.
Valverde’s ERA is back down to 0.56. Not quite the 0.34 he had a couple of weeks ago before he gave up a run but not to shabby. Some of his splits are fun to look at. At home, his batting average against is .093 (prior to today’s game). His batting average against in June is .031 and when he gets an 0-1 count, he’s got a .059 batting average against after that. When there’s two outs in an inning, Valverde has a .033 batting average against and a .155 OPS against. With two outs and RISP position, he’s given up two walks and no hits in 12 plate appearances. Funny stuff.
Anyway, the Tigers square off against the Twins at Target Field beginning tomorrow. The Twins lost so whoever walks away with the three game series will be in first place. Game one has Fransisco Liriano going up against Jeremy Bonderman. Jeremy has had an up and down June and this would be a nice place to settle down. Liriano has had a comeback season but his last couple of starts have only been okay. It’d be nice if the Tigers could bring him further back down to earth.