For the first time since April 18th, the Detroit Tigers won a series. The Tigers took the series against the Chicago White Sox over the weekend. In what should have been a sweep, the Tigers still took two of three and managed to have a positive home stand, going 3-2.
In game one of the series the impressive Drew Smyly went up against Jake Peavy, who is looking like the Peavy that won a Cy Young with the San Diego Padres in 2007. Not the guy that has trouble staying healthy since putting on a White Sox uniform.
The Tigers got the scoring started early, thanks to a Ryan Raburn sacrifice fly. The White Sox would not waste anytime matching the Tigers. Gordon Beckham, who has been on a tear as of late, (.400 AVG, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs over his last seven games) would have a big day. Beckham would collect the first of his three total RBIs by doubling in Dayan Viciedo.
Alex Avila would reclaim the lead for as Hawk Harrelson would call it, “the good guys”, by hitting his fourth home run of the year….Putting the Tigers back up 2-1. The White Sox would re-tie the game back up in the 6th, making it 2-2.
The game would remain tied until Octavio Dotel finally gave up his first earned runs of the year, thanks to a Beckham two run homer putting the Sox back on top 4-2. Miguel Cabrera would single in a run making it 4-3 going into the ninth.
After an Alex Avila single, Jhonny Peralta, who has not hit a single home run all year, would end the game with a walk off keeping the Tigers from falling under .500 for the first time this season and gave the Tigers a 1-0 series lead.
“This feels really good,” Peralta said. “It’s the best moment that you can feel. First home run this year and it’s walk-off. Not bad, huh?”
In game two, Max Scherzer, who has been struggling as of late went up against Gavin Floyd. Floyd and Scherzer would match each other pitch for pitch through the course of the day. The only blemish on Floyd’s line was two runs given up in the second inning. Scherzer would go seven innings and strike out nine surrendering only one run, which was a Paul Konerko home run. After a somewhat rare 1-2-3 eighth inning pitched by Joaquin Benoit, this game had all the makings of the Tigers second straight win.
Jose Valverde came out for the ninth. It’s been no secret Valverde has had trouble with his command this season…already blowing a save and having an ERA over five coming into the game. Alejandro De Aza would lead off the inning with a single…then would steal second. Alexi Ramirez would then sacrifice De Aza to third. All of the sudden, the tying run is 90 feet from home with one out and Valverde is on the brink of blowing another save. Luckily, a guy who has struck out in 29 straight games was up next.
Adam Dunn would then hit one of the longest home runs I have ever seen to right field. Did I forget to mention Dunn had four homers in his last five games coming into that at bat? Valverde would blow the save and the Tigers would lose 3-2.
“Everybody knows Adam Dunn is a good hitter,” said Valverde, whose ERA jumped from 5.06 to 6.17 with the two earned runs. “I missed a little bit and he got it. There’s nothing I can do, you know what I mean? I did my job yesterday. I didn’t do it today. And now I got to get ready for tomorrow.”
“He’s struggling a little bit, obviously, right now,” Leyland said. “Maybe I got to get him out there a little bit more. He threw the ball down right into the groove of the swing and Dunn hit it. He’s just struggling a bit right now and that can happen to closers from time to time.”
In game three Rick Porcello looked to continue pitching great. Dylan Axelrod would be making a start in place of Chris Sale because Sale was moved back to the closer role.
Adam Dunn would once again homer putting the Sox on top early. Austin Jackson would answer right back with a homer of his own; fourth on the season to tie the game. After that run the White Sox would not get another run the rest of the game. Porcello would pitch 6 1/3 outstanding innings.
Prince Fielder would collect his fourth home run of the 2012 season. Along with Andy Dirks going yard for the second time this season.
Jose Valverde would have a chance to redeem himself after blowing a save the day before. It was no easy 1-2-3 inning for Papa Grande but he would get the job done nonetheless on the way to a Tigers victory and taking two of three from the White Sox.
“We got him right back out there,” said manager Jim Leyland about Valverde, who took a loss and blown save in the Tigers’ 5-4 loss to the White Sox on Saturday. “It was good to get him right back out there today. We needed them [all] today in big situations and they all responded really well.”
In game one, Doug Fister (0-0) will make his long awaited return to the Tigers rotation against the Seattle Mariners. Blake Beavan (1-3) will try and make it an unhappy return for the former Mariner. Game two has the Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander(2-1) facing off against the struggling Kevin Millwood(0-3). Drew Smyly(1-0) will wrap up the series against Jason Vargas (3-2).
News and Notes
- Brennan Boesch was taken out of the two spot by Jim Leyland and was replaced by Andy Dirks.
- Delmon Young returned to the Tigers on Saturday and received a warm welcome.
- Rick Porcello in his last two starts is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA.
- Cole Hamels received a five game suspension for admitting he intentionally beaned Bryce Harper on Sunday.
- Albert Pujols hit his first home run in an Angels uniform. Sorry people, you no longer have as many home runs as Albert Pujols.
- Mariano Rivera tore his ACL shagging fly balls in Kansas City. Rivera said he is not going out like this and will be back. Jim Leyland told people to “get a life” if they think pitchers should not be catching fly balls in batting practice.