Detroit Tigers Win 3rd Straight, Beat Royals 6-4
Just like last night, this one came down to the very last batter. Magglio Ordonez continued his hot hitting since coming back from the DL by blasting a two-run homer in the first inning to put the Tigers in the lead. They would stay there despite closer Jose Valverde's best effort to give all Tiger fans a coronary.
Rick Porcello started the game and gave up 3 runs in 5 and 1/3 innings to earn his 8th win of the season. Porcello got help from the bullpen as David Purcey, Lester Oliveros, Phil Coke and Jose Valverde kept the Royals from catching the Tigers. Valverde earned his 23rd save by pitching a scoreless 9th inning, but it wasn't without it's fair share of drama. Valverde gave up a pair of walks and a hit to load the bases, bringing Billy Butler to the plate with two outs. Butler being KC's best hitter and a nemesis of the Tigers in the past. Valverde got him to line out to right field for the final out to preserve the win.
The Tigers climb to within one half game of first-place Cleveland, as the Indians lost to Toronto tonight. Despite being hot and cold for the 2011 season, the Tigers are 17-7 against American League Central opponents this year. They will need to continue that trend if they hope to make the playoffs.
The Tigers and Royals will play again at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City tomorrow at 7:10 pm. Charlie Furbush gets his second big league start for the Tigers in that one.
The Tigers learned during the game tonight that Jhonny Peralta will be taking Derek Jeter's place in the All-Star game on Tuesday night. Jeter has been battling injuries this season for the Yankees and decided to take the extra time off to get healthy during the All Star break. Jeter is just a handful of hits away from 3 thousand, which would make him the first Yankee to achieve that milestone.