After winning their last two games by shutting out the opposition and waiting for someone (apparently, the third baseman) to get a big hit, the Tigers decided to shake it up and earn a victory a different way. How about pummeling the opposition with some big sticks?
Detroit smacked four home runs off Kansas City pitching on Saturday night, resulting in six runs. That total alone probably had Edwin Jackson wondering to do with all that run support. But he was probably grateful, considering that it wasn't his sharpest night on the mound. The Royals took an early 2-0 lead on a Billy Butler homer (glad to see he's back to his Tigers-killing ways, after showing some mercy last year), and generally hit Jackson hard all night. For the game, he allowed three runs on nine hits over six innings.
But if anyone deserves something of a pass, it's Jackson, who's had to fight for almost everyone of his nine victories this season. With a four-run lead, he was taken out of the game after throwing 92 pitches. That's something of a break for him, after running up high pitch counts in his last few starts.
Remember the days when Detroit really needed a good left-handed bat? Three of those homers last night were smacked from the left side. Perhaps the most impressive was Alex Avila's, which came against lefty Ron Mahay. (Although Mahay hasn't exactly pitched like a left-handed specialist this year.)
Ultimately, it was refreshing to see the Tigers flex their muscles and give the pitching staff a break. Even more reassuring was watching the lineup punish some mediocre pitching, instead of making it look good. Can the Tigers do it one more time in the series finale on Sunday?
Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Guillen combined to hit 7-for-10 with two homers and seven RBIs. ¡Viva Venezuela! Cabrera arguably could've gone 5-for-5 if Alex Gordon hadn't been charged with an error. I thought fielders didn't get charged with errors anymore, so batters could get their hits. Hey, where was the home cooking on that one?
You know we love Clete Thomas here at BYB. We just got a fresh new shipment of "Clete's Cult" t-shirts for the staff to wear. But we also worship objectively. (We like to think it means more that way.) So when our liege has struck out in nine of his last 18 at-bats, we believe it's worth mentioning. Is that swing getting too long again?
Comment of the Night:
Big difference between last night and tonight.
No going out for dinner after the game tonight, Leyland!