DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers offense still hasn't shown up during a Mike Pelfrey start. Despite a stronger showing from Pelfrey, the bats went cold again, with just six quiet hits to show for their paltry efforts. As a result, the Oakland Athletics shut down the Tigers 5-1 on a chilly night in Detroit.
Pelfrey's night started out fairly strong. He allowed just two hits through three innings, and retired nine in a row at one point. He had a nine-pitch fifth and three 1-2-3 innings, and for the first time he didn't walk a batter all night. Unfortunately, it was the fourth and seventh innings that did him in. Not all the blame rests with Pelfrey in the fourth as Jose Iglesias' glove was less than golden on a couple of plays that led to runs rather than outs.
As for the seventh, however, Pelfrey threw a dead sinker that had absolutely no sink at all and it wound up in the left field seats for a two-run homer. After another single, his day was over and the Tigers still hadn't put up one run in support of Pelfrey. In fact, they still haven't given him one run in any start of his all year.
The closest the Tigers came to scoring was a two-on first inning chance. But Oakland's Rich Hill struck out all of the other three batters in that frame, slamming the door on any scoring opportunity. They would get a total of four more hits for the rest of the game, one which was erased on a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play in the fourth. In all, the Tigers struck out nine times. Miguel Cabrera struck out thrice, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Iglesias struck out twice apiece.
Justin Upton's defense: Robbed a home run from Chris Coghlan in the third inning to end the frame. What made it extraordinary was that he reached over and caught it and the ball popped back out on the way back down. Upton managed to grab it with his bare hand before the ball touched the ground, though.
Victor Martinez: Went 2-for-4 with the lone run driven in for the team. He's been on a little hot streak the last three days.
Jose Iglesias: The usually sure-handed defensive genius was less than outstanding in the fourth, and it led to a few runs. While he didn't get charged an error on the grounder that took a weird hop to his glove, it was a play he should've made, in addition to the other questionable play in the inning. Rather than an out or two, the inning continued and three runs scored.
Mike Pelfrey: Until he gave up the two-run homer in the seventh, Pelfrey was in the ROAR column, but one terrible pitch slammed the brakes on it. But bear in mind Iglesias shares the blame for the fourth inning, and Pelfrey didn't allow a walk in a start for the first time this season. He also retired nine in a row before giving up the single and the homer. So, it's not the worst night but still not deserving of a positive note.
Tigers offense: Still hasn't provided any run support and they had just six hits on the night. They also struck out 11 times.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Ian Kinsler has at least one hit in 16 of the Tigers 18 games played this year. It was also his 10th multi-hit game of the season.
- Victor Martinez's RBI double in the ninth gave him two hits on the night, marking the third straight game in which he's finished with a multi-hit game.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: