Oh, so that's how you beat the Baltimore Orioles. Just don't let them get any hits. Geez, why didn't the Tigers try that before?
Against a lineup that had throttled Tigers pitching over the last three games (even knocking nine hits off Justin Verlander last night), Edwin Jackson was incredible, holding Baltimore to just two hits over eight innings, and using 101 pitches to do it. The Orioles didn't get a hit until the fourth inning, and couldn't get a runner to third base the entire game. (Luke Scott went 0-for-3!) Jackson also struck out eight batters and walked only one in what has to be his finest performance of the season.
For most of the game, however, it looked like Jackson might be victimized yet again by poor run support. Curtis Granderson gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead with a homer in the fourth, but despite how Jackson was pitching, such a thin margin never felt safe. Detroit eventually scored runs in the eighth and ninth innings, giving Jackson a relatively comfortable lead, and enough of a margin to let Fernando Rodney come in to close out the game for his 10th save of the season.
Jackson was really the story this afternoon, but before the game, eyebrows were raised when Granderson was penciled in at the cleanup spot. (Miguel Cabrera, 3-for-19 in his last five games, received the day off.) But Grandy did exactly what the #4 hitter in the lineup is supposed to do, and swung a big boi bat. His 13th homer gave him the team lead over Brandon Inge, and is tied for sixth in the American League.
Jeff Larish and Clete Thomas also came through late in the game when the Tigers needed some insurance runs, both hitting RBI doubles. In the past two games batting leadoff, Thomas is 4-for-10 with two homers and four RBIs.
Ramon Santiago went 0-for-5 today, giving him an 0-for-9 in this series and dropping his average from .348 to .308. He appears to have hit that point in his season. Does he need more of a breather, or is he a bit off after playing in four of the Tigers' last eight games?
Comment of the Day:
And with today's win, the Tigers head into tomorrow's off-day with a 4-3 road trip and a four-game lead in the AL Central. Not a bad way to go: