|Final - 5.11.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Joaquin Benoit (1 - 2)
SV: Jose Valverde (8)
LP: Matt Capps (1 - 2)
3 RBI, 10 over three games.
The hotter than a live volcano Victor Martinez had three more RBI this afternoon, giving him ten in three games. Martinez has now tied a Tigers record with at least three RBI in three consecutive games. The last Tiger to do so? Dan Gladden in 1993. Yes, THAT Dan Gladden.
The other four Tigers who have accomplished Martinez's feat: Mickey Tettleton (1993), Lou Whitaker (1986), Willie Horton (1966) and Al Kaline (1956). Add Martinez to the list.
Seriously, Dan Gladden?
Brandon Inge's marvelous 10 pitch 9th inning at bat, ending in an RBI triple off the wall in right center. Easily Inge's best at bat of the season, and ultimately the game winner.
I don't know what it is about playing the Twins, but the games always turn out to be long and bizarre. Just like last night (Hail the size of footballs!), today was no exception. The late innings were wild, with both teams losing and retaking leads. In other words, a typical afternoon in Minneapolis.
Phil Coke deserved better today. Coke was solid for 5 2/3 innings, giving up five hits while only allowing two runs. But the normally steady bullpen blew what could have been Coke's second victory of the season.
It was a rough day for the setup men out of the pen. The normally lights out Al Alburquerque was wild, walking three in 2/3 of an inning. Daniel Schlereth couldn't get anyone out, allowing all his inherited runners to score. With 1st base open, the Tigers elected to pitch to the one and only Twin who is hitting the ball with authority, Jason Kubel. Kubel took Schlereth out of the park for a long three run homer, giving the Twins a short-lived 6-5 lead. I think everyone but Jim Leyland saw it coming...
Joaquín Benoit came in to clean up Schereth's mess, but was the victim of an infield hit and some poor defense by Brennan Boesch (I think Boesch is still trying to pick up the ball in right) in the 8th, allowing the tying run to score.
After all the drama, thank goodness the Big Potato was his normal Papa Grande-esque self. Jose Valverde had an uneventful 9th inning, posting his 8th save of the season.
Ryan Raburn had another interesting game in left field, laying out for a ball, but allowing it to get behind him, and getting a glove on a liner to left that fell for a double. It's to the point I'm shocked when Raburn DOESN'T knock a fly ball over the wall (or do something else that ends up on blooper reels). I'll say this, he makes corner outfield play an adventure.
It's not a full recap without mentioning Miguel Cabrera, who got himself tossed in the 6th for arguing with home plate ump Vic Carapazza after taking a called 3rd strike. Cabrera did break out of his mini-slump with a two RBI double in the 5th.
Rod Allen's analysis of Jhonny Peralta's 8th inning pinch hit home run on FSD (paraphrasing): "HAHAHAHAHA!" I had the same reaction, Rod.
I LOVE a well executed squeeze play. Austin Jackson pulled one off in the 9th. He did a great job of getting his bat on an ankle high pitch, a charging Inge crossing the plate with an insurance run.
In knocking off the Twins, the Tigers ended a wonderful road trip with a 5-1 record. They have won five straight and eight of nine, once again reaching a season high two games over .500. Going into tonight, the Tigers have 2nd in the Central all to themselves, five games behind the Indians. Things are definitely looking up.
Most importantly, the Tigers swept the Twins in Minnesota for the first time since 2007. It's always a great day when the Tigers take down our most despised rival.