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Home Run Binge: Tigers 4, Astros 3

For eight innings, the Detroit Tigers were following what's become a frustratingly familiar script for each of Edwin Jackson's starts. Jackson pitched seven innings, allowing just three runs and five hits in what's become a typically strong effort for him. Yet the Tigers' lineup once again couldn't provide enough run support for him while he was the pitcher of record, mustering just two runs.

All that was left for the Astros was for their closer to lock up the game in the ninth. And Jose Valverde was proceeding according to plan, retiring Placido Polanco and Miguel Cabrera to begin the inning. Getting that third out, however, was a bit more problematic. After getting ahead of Marcus Thames with a 1-2 count, Valverde threw the next three pitches wide of the strike zone, trying to get Thames to chase balls low and away.

Suddenly, Valverde seemed to be struggling with his control, as his next pitch to Brandon Inge was also low and outside. Having to throw a strike, he then grooved a fastball down the middle, and Inge launched it into the left field seats for a two-run homer. It was Valverde's fourth blown save of the season.

Fortunately for the Tigers, their closer performed his role as expected. Fernando Rodney allowed one baserunner in the Astros' ninth, giving up a single to Geoff Blum, but retired the next two batters (the last of whom was former teammate Pudge Rodriguez) to complete a thrilling (and seemingly improbable) comeback. With that, the Tigers salvage a win out of a disappointing weekend series, and finish Interleague Play with a 10-8 record.


Can we give today's Roar to the fan sitting down the left field line who got grabby on Hunter Pence's line drive in the fourth inning? After he reached out of the stands and made contact with a ball that was in fair play, third base umpire Tim Welke called a ground-rule double. And with that, Carlos Lee - who had already scored - was called back to third base, taking a run off the board. That ended up being the difference in the ballgame.

No? You'd prefer a Tigers player get a Roar? Inge deserves praise for more than his game-winning homer. He appeared to have sprained an ankle lunging toward first base, as he beat out an infield hit. Inge then had to run around the bases on that barking ankle when Gerald Laird doubled to left-center, resulting in a funny moment when he was caught on TV jokingly admonishing Laird for not hitting a home run.

Comment of the Day:

Clearly he was REALLY ticked at Laird and had to demonstrate how to properly hit it out of the park.

by Baroque