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Tigers lose to Bruce Chen, sun rises in the east


Final - 8.7.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 10 0
Kansas City Royals 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 X 4 6 0
WP: Bruce Chen (6 - 5)
SV: Joakim Soria (21)
LP: Max Scherzer (11 - 7)

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BOX

KEY STAT

Bruce Chen: 5 innings, 2 hits, 0 walks. (It wasn't until the sixth inning he got roughed up a bit in the monsoon.)

KEY PLAY

Let's give credit to Jeff Francoeur for throwing Jhonny Peralta out at third base in the seventh inning. Without such a stellar throw, the Tigers have runners on the corners and one out. That gives them at least a puncher's chance at knotting the game at 4-4. (MLB.com highlight)

KEY SPELLING

I got Francoeur right on the first try. Go me!

KEY THOUGHTS

How does Bruce Chen do it? Seriously. How does he do it? He's not a bad pitcher, but the Tigers seem to turn him into Cy Young. They did for five innings today. Aided by weather that made the broadcast resemble Storm Chasers, the Tigers finally broke through in the sixth inning and scored two runs before an out was recorded. With the weather worsening, the umpire called a rain delay. The momentum was pretty much broken by the time the teams took the field again, though Detroit did score their third run off reliever Louis Coleman.

As I wrote in the key play, Detroit threatened to threaten in the seventh but didn't. They never threatened again, honestly. It was kind of a stinker of a game other than a few minutes of fun.

A few things to highlight though, starting with Duane Below. He gave Detroit the kind of middle relief boost it hadn't had much of the year. Two perfect innings, including striking out the side in the sixth inning, allowed the Tigers to stay within a run. The seventh innning featured three harmless groundouts. It would be nice if the Tigers finally found some middle relief to count on.

It's weird to see the Tigers had 10 hits but only three runs to show for it. The bottom four in the lineup had six of them.

Ryan Raburn played third base again. This is probably something fans hope does not become a habit. However given Wilson Betemit's splits -- and none too stellar defense anyway -- it's easy to see why Leyland does it and will continue to do it, with Don Kelly as a defensive replacement. Ryan Raburn, super-utilityman. Whodathunkit?

This series could have been pretty scary for the Tigers. All three games were one-run endeavors. Friday's game required extra innings after the Tigers blew a late 3-0 lead. The Royals are definitely getting better. Honestly I think they're better than Minnesota at this point. They play Chicago 10 times and Cleveland six. Maybe they can try playing the spoilers for some other team this season.