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Brandon Inge's fairytale return to Detroit helps Tigers beat Indians

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DETROIT - AUGUST 20: Brandon Inge #15 of the Detroit Tigers hits a solo home run in the second inning during the game against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park on August 20, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT - AUGUST 20: Brandon Inge #15 of the Detroit Tigers hits a solo home run in the second inning during the game against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park on August 20, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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Final - 8.20.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cleveland Indians 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 1
Detroit Tigers 2 2 1 0 2 0 3 0 X 10 13 1
WP: Doug Fister (5 - 13)
LP: David Huff (1 - 2)

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BOX

KEY STATS

Brandon Inge -- HR, 2B, 2 RBI

Doug Fister -- 7 IP, 7 K, 1 R

KEY PLAY

As long as we're lauding Inge, let's keep it up! In his first at bat since returning from exile in Toledo, Brandon Inge hit a solo home run.

KEY THOUGHTS

Don't look now, but the Tigers are back to a 3 1/2 game lead over the Indians, while they maintain a 5 game lead over the White Sox. (And hey, run differential watchers. Detroit's no longer in the red!) So I have to declare the weekend is already a success. The standings are actually slightly better than a week ago. Now if Detroit can keep it up tomorrow to make it even more of a success, that would be great.

A couple of keys to the victory. The first is obviously the pitching of Doug Fister. He took advantage of the Indians proclivity to strike out and racked up seven Ks. He allowed just one walk. Even though the pitch count got a bit high, he made it through seven innings by increasing his efficiency as the night went on.

The other key was the bottom half of the lineup .The 7-8-9 batters combined for five hits, a walk and 4 RBI. Meanwhile 5 (Victor Martinez) and 6 (Alex Avila) were no slouches either. Martinez went 2-for-4, and Avila was 2-for-2 with three walks.

Of course a mention of Inge is required here. His 2-for-4 day with a solo home run, a double, a run and 2 RBI. You don't want to read too much into this obviously. But for one night, it looks like the work with Leon "Bull" Durham in Toledo certainly paid off. We'll just have to see if Inge can keep this up.

Finally I'd like to give a vote of confidence in today's lineup. Getting Ramon Santiago and Brandon Inge into the infield to help Fister was a good move. Sure you can always quibble because we wouldn't do it the same was as Jim Leyland. But as far as Leyland's lineups go, this was a decent one.