06 July 2012
It was shaping up to be another sad day for the Tigers. They couldn’t do much of anything against the Minnesota starting pitcher, Scott Diamond. Detroit managed to squeak out just five hits and two runs against the 25 year old southpaw, but the eighth inning saw the Twins bullpen enter the game, and the Tigers would rally.
Trailing 3-2, Ramon Santiago led off the inning with an unsuccessful attempt to bunt his way on base, but that would be the last out the Tigers would record before regaining the lead. Austin Jackson tripled to right field, Quintin Berry drew a pinch-hit walk, and Miguel Cabrera singled home the tying run. Then Prince Fielder stepped into the box with a chance to blow the game open.
It was just the second home run that Fielder has hit with a man on base, and the first with two men on. Expect to see a lot more multi-run homers from Prince in the second half of the year.
Delmon Young followed Fielder with a home run of his own to give the Tigers a 7-3 lead. Jose Valverde would close the door with two strikeouts in a rather uneventful ninth inning (a two-out Joe Mauer single was the only threat the Twins would mount).
A split with Minnesota in the four game series wasn’t really what the Tigers or their fans wanted to see, but the win on Thursday once again puts Detroit just one game under the .500 mark. Winning the final series before the All-Star Game, a three game set against the Kansas City Royals that starts tonight, would put the Tigers at .500 (or better, if they sweep them).
.500 at the break wasn’t where any of us thought they would be, but they’ve kept themselves in the race, and they have the talent in the lineup and rotation to snap off an extended winning streak. Let’s hope it happens soon.
Matt Snyder is the editor of The Tigers Den. He can be reached on Twitter @snyder_matthew.