OAKLAND, CA - MAY 11: Brandon Inge #7 of the Oakland Athletics hits a three-run home run in the six inning against the Detroit Tigers at O.co Coliseum on May 11, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
|Final - 5.11.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Tom Milone (5 - 2)
LP: Rick Porcello (3 - 3)
Led by Detroit Tigers 3rd base refugee Brandon Inge's 2 hits and 4 RBI, including his 2nd home run in 2 nights, the Oakland Athletics easily handled the Tigers 11-4. One blowout beget another.
Tigers starter Rick Porcello (3-3) didn't have his best stuff, allowing 4 runs in 5 innings, taking the loss. The Tigers' streak of quality starts ended at 9 straight. Rookie Tommy Milone (5-2) won his 5th game of the season for the A's. Josh Reddick actually out Inge'd Inge, homering twice with 5 RBI for the A's. Miguel Cabrera had 2 hits and 2 RBI for a mostly punchless Tigers lineup. The offense came up empty, again.
The Tigers had Malone on the ropes in the 1st inning. Austin Jackson lead off with a double, Andy Dirks then singled, bringing up Miguel Cabrera...coming off a 4-5 game last night. As they say, things change, and quickly, in baseball. Cabrera grounded into a tailor made 4-6-3 double play. Jackson scored, but the bases were empty and the threat was over.
Inge's opposite field (NOW he figures out how to go with the pitch?!) single in the bottom of the 1st plated budding Tiger Killer Kila Ka'aihue, tying the game and setting to tone for the rest of the night. Brandon Inge was not to be denied, and the Tigers were going to help the cause by tossing meatballs into his wheelhouse.
Gerald Laird was the catalyst of the Tigers' 3rd inning rally. Inge couldn't back hand Laird's lead off ground ball, ruled an error (the only mistake Inge made all night). G$ was $, advancing on a single and sac fly, scoring on Cabrera's single to the tie the game...and that was it for the Tigers' offense while the game was still in doubt.
The rest of the evening was one long Inge and Reddick filled nightmare.
Josh Reddick took Porcello deep in the 3rd. Well, so much for momentum from a blowout win last night.
In the 6th, Inge crushed a Duane Below pitch deep, a 3 run shot well into the left field seats. The rout was on, post haste. Inge-sanity prevailed in Oaktown. Rage prevailed in Motown.
Reddick put the game completely out of reach in the 7th, hitting his 2nd home run, this time off of Collin Balester. To rub it in and twist the knife, the Baseball Gods teased us. They allowed Ryan Rabrun to get his glove on Reddick's big fly as it flew over the wall, but he couldn't bring it back.
Raburn's luck could not be any worse at this point. Even Bad Luck Schleprock has better luck than Raburn...and the Tigers, for that matter.
What really made the home run painful was Balester walking the 2 previous hitters. My urge to kill rises when relievers issue walks. STOP IT. I liked Bakester so much better when he was the forgotten man in the bullpen. He's been burned into my memory after the past 2 nights.
After being let off the hook, Milone was Cy Young reincarnated, setting down the final 10 Tigers he faced.
The Tigers scored a couple of garbage time runs in the 8th, making for the 11-4 final, but Prince Fielder's easily turned double play ball ended what slight hope there was of a rally. And the less I say about his play on a 6th inning pick off attempt, the better.
And that, as they say, was that. The west coast road trip can't end soon enough.
So what can you say about Brandon Inge? Plenty, unfortunately. Inge now has as many RBI (17) in 10 games for Oakland as he had in his last 89 for the Tigers. Hell, he's the first player since LOU GEHRIG with 4+ RBI games in a 5 game span. Of course, this won't last, Inge well regress to his under .200 hitting self eventually. Soon, most likely.
But he's punishing Tigers pitching now, and it's completely ridiculous The Tigers should know how to pitch Inge better than anyone. "Should" being the operative word. I guess If the Tigers' brain trust didn't see Inge's tendencies on the clubhouse TV after being thrown out of a game, then they wouldn't notice.
So much for the slump ending. The Tigers are back at .500, in 2nd place in the Central at 16-16.
Tomorrow is the first game of the western swing that starts at a decent time in here in Michigan, 8 PM. Maybe that will change the Tigers' luck. Something has to..
When Brandon freaking Inge beats you silly, I refuse to hand out a roar.
Prince Fielder: 0-4, butchered a pick off throw from Below, Jemile Weeks should have been dead to rights.
Ryan Raburn: 0-4, batting average is down to .128. He did hit into some bad luck again...but sorry, the box score says 0-4.
Duane Below and Collin Balester: Bullpen trouble will be the death of me. Their ccombined line was 2 IP, 4 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 2 HR. Below allowed his first runs of the season, it was going to happen. But Balester just buried himself deeper in Jim Leyland's doghouse.
GAME 31 PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Andy Dirks is silly. Silly good, that is. BYB voters agreed, giving Dirks 71% of the vote.
Game 32 Player of the Game
Brandon Inge - 2 H, HR, 4 RBI, 1000s of sleepless Tigers fans (247 votes)
Josh Reddick - 2 HR, 5 RBI (37 votes)
Miguel Cabrera - 2 RBI (48 votes)
Luke Putkonen - 1 IP, 0 R (23 votes)
355 total votes