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Another A's-Kicking: Tigers 9, Athletics 1

I know what a "Rick Roll" is (and ThaWalrus9 got me good with one last season), but Rick Porcello may force us to come up with a different meaning for the term, because he is definitely on a roll. For the second straight start, he gave up only one run, and tonight, he allowed just three hits while striking out five Oakland batters in six innings. All in 86 pitches.

Porcello has now won his last three starts, allowing just two runs in 18 innings, with 13 strikeouts and seven walks.

And though Porcello didn't need generous run support, the Tigers lineup flexed some muscle again. Those green jerseys the A's wear apparently triggered something in Ryan Raburn. Or the Oakland pitching staff looked at a guy who was hitting .095/.240/.095 coming into this series, and just figured throwing a fastball right down the middle couldn't possibly cause much damage.

Oops. Raburn hit his second home run in two nights, breaking the game open with a three-run shot in the fifth inning. Eight RBIs in two games? Looks like a A's-kicker.


Oakland pitching also appears to be just what Gerald Laird needed to see, as he got his first hit in nine games, batting 3-for-4. Laird had gone 0-for-24 in those nine games, a slump that plunged his average to .195.

And while Raburn may have gotten the flashiest hit of the night with his three-run homer, Miguel Cabrera put up the best numbers, also going 3-for-4 and adding four RBIs. With a 3-for-4 performance last night, as well, Miggy has pushed his average up to .389.

Turning Point:

With the game tied at 1-1 in the fifth, and Curtis Granderson at third, Miggy hit a groundball back to Dallas Braden. Easy out, right? Braden tagged out Cabrera, then thought about trying to throw Placido Polanco out and second, before throwing home to try and get Granderson out.

Oops. Grandy scored, and the ball bounced in front of Kurt Suzuki and got away, allowing Polanco to move to third. From there, Braden put the next three Tigers batters on base, resulting in four more runs.

Comment of the Night:

Missing: Ryan Raburn

was last seen sometime around 7:00 PM last night, and has been replaced with a big league hitter.

by Ohio Tiger

And with Kansas City losing to the Orioles tonight (actually, every other team in the AL Central lost today), say hello to first place in the division again, Detroit:

AL Central Standings

Detroit 19 16 .542 0 Won 2
Kansas City 19 18 .513 1 Lost 1
Minnesota 18 19 .486 2 Lost 2
Chicago 15 20 .428 4 Lost 3
Cleveland 14 24 .368 6.5 Lost 2

(updated 5.16.2009 at 11:31 PM EDT)