Things got off to an immediately bad start yesterday as the Tigers were pummelled in game one of their doubleheader with the Rangers. The Rangers set a record for homeruns by visiting team with seven in a 13-6 beatdown that at one point had the Tigers down 11-0 late. The four starters who threw at least an inning all gave up runs and all four gave up homeruns.
By the middle of the game, most of the starters were out there which cleared the way for guys like Mike Hessman, Brent Clevlen and Cameron Maybin to get some time in. Hessman finished the game with three RBIs and Timo Perez went three for four with two runs.
Fortunately, the Tigers bounced back in the second game and won it 4-1. Jair Jurrjens picked the Tigers up with a solid start and he improved to 2-1 with five innings. He gave up just one run on three hits and a walk with one strikeout while Jason Grilli, Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones held the Rangers scoreless in the final four innings. For Jones, it was his 34th save of the season.
The Tigers big inning was the first one, in while they pummelled Brandon McCarthy. Gary Sheffield, Magglio Ordonez and Ivan Rodriguez all had RBI singles in the inning and the Tigers added a fourth run in the second inning on an RBI single by Placido Polanco. Curtis Granderson supplanted Gary Sheffield as the team leader with two stolen bases where as Sheffield stole one.
The problem is, the Yankees won. That puts the Tigers four games back, but more importantly, they’re five back in the loss column. At this point, if the streaking Yankees go 998 in their final 18 games, the Tigers will have to go 11-5 just to force a tie so at this point, every loss really, really counts.
The finale with the Rangers is tonight. It’ll be Justin Verlander throwing for his 17th win and the Tigers’ hitters will face Edinson Volquez, who I really don’t know much about. He is 2-0 though but he has a career ERA of 7.89 in 57 innings so hopefully the Tigers can figure him out.