Detroit Tigers Take Opener In Big Series With Cleveland
Max Scherzer has been hot and cold this season. His electric arm shows the promise of possibly becoming a 20-game winner at some point in his young career. Tiger fans are hoping Scherzer can help the team win some important games in Detroit's drive for the American League Central title, especially against their rivals from Cleveland.
Scherzer put zeros on the scoreboard for the first six innings and left after seven with a 2-1 lead. Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde shut down the Tribe in the 8th and 9th, while the Tigers added some insurance runs. Scherzer picked up his 13th win against 7 losses and Jose Valverde earned his 36th save by blanking the Indians in the 9th.
The Tigers scored all their runs via the home run. Austin Jackson ran into one in the 6th and drove home Ryan Raburn to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. After Cleveland scored in the 7th, Alex Avila and Jhonny Peralta hit back-to-back jacks to put the Tigers up 4-1. That would turn out to be the final score and a big relief to Detroit fans. The win gives the Tigers a 2 and a half game lead over the second-place Indians. Third-place Chicago lost tonight to Texas, and are now 5 games out of first.
The Tigers and Indians play again Saturday night at Comerica Park. Doug Fister will be the Tiger starting pitcher vs. Cleveland's David Huff. 7:05 first pitch.
The Tigers made a roster move today, sending outfielder Andy Dirks to Toledo and recalling 3rd baseman Brandon Inge. Inge is expected to see action against left-handed pitchers (he's hitting over .400 against lefties in Toledo) and will also be used as a defensive replacement. It's also possible that Inge could give catcher Alex Avila a much needed break as he has experience behind the plate. Avila has caught every game for the last couple of weeks since Victor Martinez injured his knee. Dirks will probably rejoin the team when rosters expand to 40 players September 1st.