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This morning, I criticized Brennan Boesch and mentioned that the Tigers had nine consecutive solo home runs. Both themes were turned on their head Thursday afternoon.
Batting second, a move which had Twitter and some in our comments section all hot and bothered, Boesch had one of those patented is-he-breaking-out-of-the-slump games. He singled in the first inning, later scoring, then added a double to deep center field in the fourth inning to drive in a run. Before the game, Tigers manager Jim Leyland mentioned that batting second was an opportunity for Boesch, as it appeared to be a good matchup. (Left-handers have had some success against Cleveland starter Derek Lowe.) The coaching staff had also noticed some mechanic problems in his swing. Is this the game tha-- ... OK, I'm not even going to go there.
The other theme I wrote about was solo home runs. Detroit had just one long ball in the game, but it was a two-run shot off the bat o Miguel Cabrera. It barely cleared the fence over Shin-Soo Choo's glove ... well, it never actually DID clear the fence. But ground rules as they are, Cabrera was credited with the home run. It wasn't a solo shot. It lifted Detroit to a 7-1 lead.
Starting pitcher Casey Crosby had a much better showing than he did in his major-league debut against the Yankees. This was obviously a better matchup for him. He still walked three in 5 1/3 innings, but he held Cleveland to just one run until the sixth inning, scattering five hits and striking out two for the game. Crosby earned his first career win.
A final note: The Tigers' defense actually did a few good things. For one, Don Kelly had an assist in the outfield. And for two, Detroit turned more double plays than it hit into, by a two-to-one ratio. Sure, that sounds like a small thing. But grab positives where you can, I say.
Certainly this wasn't the series the Tigers hoped for. You can't get too happy about avoiding the sweep. You win one, the opponents win two: The opponents will take that every time. Detroit is 4.5 games behind the Indians and 5.5 behind the White Sox. Also not good things. But it beats the alternative after losing the first two games, right?
Detroit now heads to southern Ohio as interleague play (re-)opens against the Reds on Friday.
Miguel Cabrera - Maybe he needs a "daily roar" category. 2-R HR
Brennan Boesch - 2 hits (one double)!
Offense in general - It was a team effort
Casey Crosby - looked much better against the Indians in his second MLB start
Offense in general - Well, they didn't score after the fourth inning ...
Phil Coke - 3 hits, 1 run, 0 outs
GAME 56 POG
Miguel Cabrera (who else). That's 2 in a row