After a five run first inning, the Tigers almost let this one slip. Jeremy Bonderman was pretty mediocre, and Fernando Rodney got roughed up in the eighth inning to make it a two run game. Leyland let Rodney pitch through it (partially because Zumaya wasn’t available after pitching two innings the game before) and he got himself out of the jam. Todd Jones gave up a one out single, but didn’t really get into trouble in the ninth.
Twins win, and the White Sox lost, so the Tigers lead is now an impressive 7 1/2 games. Tonight we have Kenny Rogers versus Paul Byrd. And there’s a nice matchup in the Twins/White Sox game. Jose Contreras goes up against Johan Santana.
And I guess the big first innings are a rarity. The last time a team has scored five or more in the first inning in three consecutive games was when the St. Louis Browns did it in 1891.