To get this excited about two straight wins illustrates how disappointing this season has been thus far for the Detroit Tigers (and I was out of the country during their three-game sweep of the Mariners). But for the Tigers to have any chance at turning this thing around, they need to start playing better against their AL Central rivals. Taking the last two from the team immediately ahead of them in the standings certainly helps. (Though if Detroit really wants to gain some momentum, they need to win tomorrow's series finale.)
Perhaps even more notable than the consecutive wins is two straight respectable performances from the Tigers' lineup. 13 runs in two games? I'd have to go back and check, but it's possible there have been entire weeks in which Detroit didn't put 13 runs on the board. And we're not talking about an offensive explosion today; we're talking about five runs. How many more wins would the Tigers have if they scored that number more consistently?
Okay, how much longer is Zach Miner going to be pitching in the eighth inning? He has walked at least one batter in three of his last four appearances, and given up hits in each of those outings. And the one in which Miner didn't allow a walk? He gave up three hits.
For the second straight game, Miner came in with a healthy lead and endangered the win by not getting outs and putting runners on base. In the eighth inning, he walked Franklin Gutierrez, gave up a single to Victor Martinez, and plunked Ryan Garko on the elbow to load the bases. That was it for him.
Until Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya return, maybe Freddy Dolsi is the guy who should be setting up Todd Jones. Somebody had to come in and clean up Miner's mess and Dolsi worked with squeegee-like efficiency. He struck out both Jhonny Peralta and Ben Francisco on nine total pitches, keeping the Indians from cutting into the Tigers' lead.
Before the game, the Tigers activated Clay Rapada from the 15-day disabled list. He'll take Jeremy Bonderman's spot on the roster. That gives Detroit three left-handers in the bullpen, which makes you wonder if another move is coming once Aquilino Lopez returns from the bereavement list.