It seems that the only thing that could stop the Detroit Tigers this week was Mother Nature. Once they finally got today's game underway, the Tigers made quick work of the Minnesota Twins, cruising to an easy 7-1 victory. The blowout win capped off the Tigers' third opening series sweep in four years.
Shane Greene was the latest newbie to impress in his Tigers debut. The 26-year-old righthander worked eight efficient innings, allowing just four hits and one unearned run. He struck out five, walked one, and only threw 85 pitches. On another day, manager Brad Ausmus might have let him pitch the ninth inning. In this series, Greene was pulled so the bullpen could get some work.
Anthony Gose continued to impress, collecting three more hits in five at-bats. Gose scored all three times he reached base, and earned an "I see you" from Fox Sports Detroit color commentator Rod Allen in the later innings. Gose, who doubled off Twins starter Kyle Gibson in the second, is hitting .545 with a .909 slugging average so far this season.
J.D. Martinez hit his second home run of the season today, a laser that went several rows deep into the right field stands. The two-run shot gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead and forced Twins manager Paul Molitor to go to the bullpen in the fourth inning. Martinez also put the Tigers up 1-0 with an RBI single in the bottom of the first. No fans were harmed by Martinez's home run, so far as we know.
The Tigers don’t have batting practice, they have target practice #2015Tigersfacts— Rob Rogacki (@BYBRob) April 9, 2015
Victor Martinez collected an RBI single of his own in the bottom of the second inning, putting the Tigers up 3-0. The elder Martinez's clutch hit came with two outs in the inning, and was immediately after a close pickoff play that was reviewed (and upheld), and a lengthy battle between Gibson and Miguel Cabrera, which ended in a walk. Martinez also walked in the first inning, but was stranded on third base.
Jose Iglesias' four hit day made him the Tigers' most valuable hitter (in terms of WPA), and also earned him Player of the Game honors. He earned 55 percent of the vote, well ahead of Anibal Sanchez (19 percent) and Ian Kinsler (16 percent).