By RICKY LINDSAY, Staff Reporter
The Detroit Tigers returned to action last Tuesday to take on the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park before traveling to Oakland for the start of the team’s west coast stretch.
The Tigers sent Anibal Sanchez to the mound last Tuesday to oppose Jays’ starter Brandon Morrow in the first game of the series. Sanchez pitched seven dominate innings, only allowing two runs while racking up eight strikeouts.
Morrow struggled in his short outing, allowing five runs, two of which were home runs in 3.2 innings pitched. The Tigers went on to rout the Jays 7-3, with the help of the long-ball.
Miguel Cabrera went 4-5 with a home run and four RBI’s. His fourth inning homer was his one-hundredth home run at Comerica Park, the most in the ballparks history. Two days after becoming a father, catcher Alex Avila also hit a solo home run.
Torii Hunter collected his 2,000 career hit Tuesday against the Jays after his sixth multi-hit game with the club.
A lengthy rain delay that lasted two hours and 29 minutes, held up play in game two of the series against the Jays. Both scheduled starters, Rick Porcello and Mark Buehrle, were able to pitch, even after the rain delay.
Porcello allowed four runs in five innings pitched after the delay, while Buehrle allowed six runs in 4.1 innings.
The Tigers once held a 6-1 lead midway through the game. A move to the bullpen gave hope for the Jays’ offense, and like many other teams this season, they took advantage of the Tigers’ relief struggles.
Catcher J.P. Arencibia and first baseman Mark DeRosa each drove in three runs in the late rally, leading to the Jays 8-6, comeback victory.
Thursday’s rubber-game between the Tigers and Jays was one sided, as Detroit cruised to a 11-1 blowout victory after torching Toronto ace Josh Johnson’s pitching.
Doug Fister started the game for the Tigers and shut down the Jays, pitching eight strong innings while allowing only one run and throwing five strikeouts.
Torii Hunter and Prince Fielder led the Tigers’ offense against the Jays. Hunter went 2-4 with three RBI’s, while Fielder went 2-2 with two walks and four RBI’s.
After winning their second series of the season, the Tigers traveled to the West coast to take on the red hot Oakland Athletics, who brought an eight game winning streak into the series.
Max Scherzer opposed Bartolo Colon in the first game of the series. Scherzer was a strikeout machine against Oakland, racking up 11 in six innings. He allowed two earned runs before exiting.
Colon’s only blemish throughout seven innings pitched was a three run homer by Fielder in the third inning.
Both bullpens were locked in a pitching duel as the game went to extra innings. The Tigers brought in Brayan Villarreal in the twelfth inning, and the reliever’s struggles continued. Athletics’ third baseman Josh Donaldson took Villarreal deep for a walk-off home run, as the A’s took the first game 4-3.
The Tigers sent their ace, Justin Verlander, to the mound in attempt to end the A’s nine game winning streak. Verlander dominated the A’s, striking out six and allowing one run in six innings pitched.
The long ball powered the Tigers to a 7-3 victory over the A’s. Hunter and Fielder hit solo shots, while Peralta crushed a three run home run in the win.
Sunday’s rubber-game belonged to the Tigers, as the team won 10-1 in convincing fashion. Sanchez started the game for the Tigers and was locked in, throwing seven strong innings with eight strikeouts and one earned run.
Austin Jackson led the Tigers’ offense, going 4-6 with a home run and three RBI’s. Fielder went 1-3 to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
A powerful offense that has scored six or more runs in six games has propelled the Tigers to a 7-5 record on the young season.
Tigers baseball resumes Tuesday night as the team travels to Seattle after winning three straight series. Fister, Scherzer, and Verlander will oppose Aaron Harang, Felix Hernandez, and Hisashi Iwakuma of the Mariners in the three game series.