Porcello still perfect in interleague play: Tigers 6, Dodgers 2


Final - 5.23.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 6 9 1
Los Angeles Dodgers 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 11 1
WP: Rick Porcello (4 - 4)
LP: Hiroki Kuroda (5 - 2)

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Rick Porcello's performance -- with an assist from his defense -- was just what the Tigers needed Sunday. It wasn't a perfectly clean outing, but it still resulted in just two Dodgers runs over six innings. And the bullpen again slammed the door.

With the win Porcello is now 4-0 in interleague play. At least one of us seems to enjoy it.

Actually, I think Jim Leyland rather enjoyed himself, too.

To wit:

In the ninth inning with a runner on third, he told Dontrelle Willis to put on a helmet and get ready to enter the game to bat in the place of Phil Coke. This sent Dodgers manager Joe Torre to his bullpen to grab a left-handed pitcher to face the left-handed batter. Leyland responded with another pinch hitter, this time Adam Everett.

Tigers fans cringed.

Leyland celebrated getting a righty-lefty matchup for his batter.

And promptly called for a suicide squeeze. Brandon Inge ran, Adam Everett bunted and the Tigers scored a run.

A Johny Damon single later and the game was no longer a save situation by the time Los Angeles batted in the bottom half of the ninth inning.

It was Leyland at his finest. Sometimes I think if the Tiger were a National League team they'd already have won a division or two title by now. (OK, so they were two wins in two Octobers from doing the same thing in the AL, but never you mind with those facts.)

And with the close of the Dodgers series, Detroit now gets a well-deserved day off and its schedule takes a notable change in difficulty. Five weeks ago, they started a tough stretch and I just hoped were able to stay near enough to the Twins to still be in it at Memorial Day. They are just a game behind, and 6.5 ahead of the third place White Sox.

All is well, and the upcoming series are against the Mariners, A's, Indians, Royals, White Sox, Pirates, Nationals, Diamondbacks and Mets during the next month or so. Each of those teams is at best a game or two over .500, or below it. Some of them are in last place.

On paper, this is quite in Detroit's favor. Hopefully the Tigers make the best of the opportunity.

Notes:

As Big Al pointed out earlier, Miguel Cabrera will be in Florida during the Mariners series for the birth of his child. Also Austin Jackson is called 'questionable" for the series with an eye that is currently swollen shut.

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