DETROIT — Not since 1986 has a Tigers pitcher pitched back-to-back shutouts, until Tuesday night. Coming off a wild win Monday night, The Tigers picked up their second straight win before the sun set on Comerica Park by a score of 3-0 in support of a dominant Rick Porcello.
Porcello needed just 95 pitches to shut down the Oakland Athletics despite only two whiffs and no strikeouts. Porcello walked no one, got 17 groundball outs and pitched four 1-2-3 innings. Only one A's batter reached scoring position, Jed Lowrie, who doubled in the second and advanced to third on a flyout. The last Tigers pitcher to have no walks and no strikeouts in a game was Jeff Ballard in 1989.
"(Porcello's) sinker was excellent tonight, he kept it down in the zone almost every single time he threw it," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "Curveball was good today, but I thought his changeup was exceptional. He got a lot of popups on his changeup and got a lot of guys out in front of it. The offspeed pitches were very complimentary too, that's why he was so effective."
A's starting pitcher Brad Mills kept the Tigers off the basepaths for the first three innings, resulting in five strikeouts, but it may have been a little more to do with outside elements than anything else. "The hitters were having a tough time seeing the ball with the shadow and the sun in center field," Ausmus said. "That might have played into it. We also hadn't seen this guy, a lot of guys haven't faced Mills before, that played into it. I think all those factors played in."
That's as far as Mills' luck would take him, however, as the Tigers reached base safely for the next four innings. They scored in the fourth on a groundout RBI off the bat of Torii Hunter and J.D. Martinez hit his 10th home run of the season with a two-run home run in the sixth inning.
J.D. Martinez: Hit a two-run home run to left field with one out in the sixth inning, which gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead. (MLB.com video)
Team Effort: Miguel Cabrera drew a walk in the fourth and J.D hit a double before Torii Hunter put the Tigers on the board with an RBI groundout, making it 1-0 at the time. (MLB.com video)
First three innings: The Tigers offense struck out five times collectively in the first three innings, going down in order until a single by Rajai Davis with two outs in the third.
Game time: Entirely too short with absolutely no dramatics. Two hours and 13 minutes to be exact, the shortest of the season for the Tigers. Wait, that's a good thing. As you were.
There's still time for another game tonight! Quick, get Cleveland or one of the other make-up game opponents to Detroit!— HookSlide (@HookSlideBYB) July 2, 2014
Press box temperature: Freezing, felt like an ice box. Oh, you're talking about the game. See above.
Victor Martinez took batting practice, trying to convince Ausmus and head athletic trainer Kevin Rand that he was good to go, but Ausmus decided to keep him out of the lineup for an additional day as a precaution.
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