The Tigers hung on yesterday to finish up a three game sweep over the Rockies. This puts them at 41-40 at the half way point of the season and it marks the first time they’ve had a winning record all year. Regardless of what happens tonight, the Tigers have had an impressive month. Despite a three game sweep at Oakland, they’re now 18-8 in June. Things take on an added importance beginning tonight though because they start a three game set against the second place Twins. The Tigers haven’t done well on the road (16-23) nor have they done well in their division (10-19) but now is as good of a time as any to turn both of those things around.
Dane Sardinha came up with the big hit yesterday. His two run triples turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead that turned out to be the final. The other two Tigers runs came in the first inning when Miguel Cabrera and Marcus Thames each had RBI singles. Thames has gotten hot and after a three for four game yesterday, he’s now seen his batting average rise to .280.
Kenny Rogers also continued his impressive stretch. He gave up three runs on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts and while it wasn’t great, it was good enough to push him into winning territory. Freddy Dolsi struck out three in two shutout innings and then Todd Jones followed his Saturday meltdown with a perfect inning in the ninth for his fifteenth save of the season. The Tigers are still packing in the crowds and they had over 41,000 at the game. Right now, the Tigers are eighth in average attendance with a 39,242 average. If they keep that up, they’ll easily top three million fans again.
Tonight, it’ll be Armando Galarraga going up against Glen Perkins. Galarraga had a tough showing last week against the Cardinals in a game the Tigers ended up winning. What hurts is Magglio Ordonez has been the latest Tiger to hit the DL. Probably the most consistent Tiger hitter this year, Ordonez will sit because of an oblique muscle (keep your Brandon Inge pillow jokes to yourself). Matt Joyce was called up in his place and this will most likely give Marcus Thames even more playing time.