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How to Open a Six-Game Homestand: Tigers 12, Royals 5

Over After the First:

I hope you didn't arrive or turn on the game late, because if you did, the game had basically already been decided. The Tigers worked Zach Greinke like a summer farmhand, squeezing him for 49 pitches in 2/3 of an inning. (Consider that Jeremy Bonderman threw 96 pitches over nine innings on Friday.) Greinke just couldn't get the Detroit batters to chase bad pitches, which is something we've been waiting to see for a long time. And when he finally had to give Pudge Rodriguez something to hit, he crushed it to right-center field.

So much for a pitching duel, eh? At least this one worked out heavily in the Tigers' favor.

The Power of Pudge, The Grace of Guillen:

At least two Detroit Tigers were getting sick of putting low numbers on the scoreboard. Pudge, who owns the Royals over his career, collected a week's worth of RBIs in two swings. And Guillen twice found that jetstream blowing out to right-center field to knock in four runs.

And an honorable mention to Gary Sheffield, who not only got a much-needed hit, but more importantly, drew three walks and scored three runs. We saw a great example of how his patience at the plate can help, even while he's still struggling with the bat.

Slick Glove:

In a conversation I had with Mike McClary, we talked about how many errors Brandon Inge would have at third base this year. I believe Mike set the over-under at 20. I said "under," and a big reason for that was having Sean Casey at first base for a full season. His experienced glove would surely save Inge from more than a few errors, and last night, he saved three throws in the dirt with nifty (I love that word) back-handed grabs.

The Tao of Leyland:

From Tom Gage's notebook in today's Detroit News --

Marcus Thames is over the flu, but it spread to the coaching staff. Rafael Belliard and Andy Van Slyke were suffering from it.

The cause, according to Leyland? "None of them smoke."

Let's Just Not Talk About It:

After giving up a two-run homer to Ryan Shealy last night, Jose Mesa's ERA is currently a fat, unseemly 20.25. Anyone interested in seeing what Houston wants for Brad Lidge these days?