The Tigers capped off a great week with yet another win as they put together their fifth straight win. They didn’t need a bunch of home runs or a walk off hit but what they did get is some solid pitching by Justin Verlander to go with some timely hitting. Verlander threw 120 pitches and pitched into the ninth inning but the Tigers needed Jose Valverde to get the final two outs of the game. This was just what the Tigers needed because it gave the rest of the pen a much needed break. Verlander gave up just three hits with seven strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings.
Verlander threw a 98 mph fastball to the final batter he face in the ninth inning. Earlier in the inning, he threw four consecutive fastballs to Maicer Izturis where he was consistently in the mid-90s so Verlander still had it even with all of the innings he threw.
The Tigers did most of their damage in the fifth inning when they scored four runs. Five hits, a walk and a wild pitch resulted in four runs. Austin Jackson then drove in a run in the sixth with a single. He finished three for five and he’s now hitting .367. Jackson is also getting it done in the field and at least according to =/-, Jackson is the seventh most effective centerfielder in baseball right now.
On Saturday, the Tigers won a barnburner. Johnny Damon hit his first home run as a Tiger and it was a walk off blast. Jeremy Bonderman also had his best start so far this year with six innings of good enough pitching. The pen also came through with three innings of shutout relief.
The win kept the Tigers a half game back of the Twins and they’re five games ahead of the third place Indians. Now the Tigers have to play their first game at Target Field as they take on the Twins for three beginning tomorrow. Game one has Max Scherzer going up against Scott Baker. Both pitchers have struggled at times and hopefully Scherzer puts something nice together.