Detroit Tigers Beat Texas Rangers 5-4
Doug Fister made his Detroit Tiger debut tonight and did what he's been doing all season long for Seattle. He made a quality start, and unlike when he pitched for the last-place Mariners, he got some run support. Fister went seven innings and gave up 3 runs, 2 of which were earned. A solo homer by Alex Avila in the 6th (his 12th) gave the Tigers a 4-3 lead, and another solo shot from Ryan Raburn in the 8th got Fister his first win since May 30th.
Ryan Raburn had a big night for the Tigers, going 3 for 4, scoring twice and driving in two runs. His homer (10th) in the 8th proved to be the game winner. Raburn, who has been booed heartily by Tiger fans all season, leads the team in game winning RBI with 9. Alex Avila also had another good game with two hits and 2 runs batted in.
Joquin Benoit bounced back from giving up two homers last night and pitched a scoreless 8th inning. Closer Jose Valverde came in to pitch the 9th with a 5-3 lead, and as usual, had to make it close as he gave up a solo homer to Mike Napoli to make it 5-4. After that, Valverde shut down the defending American League champions for this 30th save in 30 opportunities.
The Tiger win, coupled with a loss by second-place Cleveland, gives Detroit a 3 and a half game lead in the American League Central. Third-place Chicago was losing to the Yankees and could find themselves 6 and a half out of first.
The Tigers and Rangers will play an afternoon matinee tomorrow at Comerica Park. Brad Penny will face flame-throwing Jose Ogando in that matchup. The Tigers are going for a 3-game sweep and their 4th win in a row. 1:05 pm first pitch. Might be a good day to play hookey.