Detroit Tigers Win Streak At Nine, Magic Number Down To 8
Doug Fister has been a fantastic acquisition since the trade that brought him here from Seattle. Fister tossed 7 shutout innings today against Minnesota, and the Tigers beat the Twinkies 2-1. Fister is 5-1 since coming to Detroit. Joaquin Benoit pitched a perfect 8th inning, then closer Jose Valverde created a bit of drama before finally dispatching the Twins in the 9th for his 43rd save in 43 chances. That's a new Tiger record. Valverde gave up a couple of hits and allowed a run to score before settling down and getting the Twins out to preserve the win.
The Tigers got both their runs in the first inning. Austin Jackson and Magglio Ordonez started the game with hits. Delmon Young made it three straight hits when he singled and drove home Jackson with the first run of the game. Miguel Cabrera hit a hard grounder to second that should have been an inning-ending double play, but the Twins 2nd baseman mishandled it and everybody was safe, leaving the bases loaded with nobody out for Victor Martinez. Martinez hit a game-winning grand slam a few days ago, but today he hit into a bases-loaded double play. Ordonez scored on the play and the Tigers led 2-0. That run would prove to be the winner, although Martinez was not credited with an RBI on the double play. Martinez would go on to hit into 4 double plays today, the last one was on a line drive caught by the Twins first baseman who slid right into first base to double up Miguel Cabrera. It didn't matter, as the Tigers continue to roll through their opposition. The Magic Number for the Tigers to clinch the American League Central Division title is 8. Any combination of Tiger victories and losses by the second place team that adds up to 8 will result in the Tigers becoming Division Champions. With the Tigers' recent success, they are only a few games behind the Yankees for having the best record in the American League. That could result in the Tigers having home field advantage in the postseason. Postseason tickets go on sale tomorrow morning at 10 for the Tigers. The way this Tiger team is playing, they could make a deep run in the playoffs. Tickets can be purchased at www.tigers.com
Meanwhile, the Tigers will begin a 9-game road trip tomorrow night in Chicago. Detroit will play 3 in Chicago, 4 in Oakland, then wrap up the trip with two in Kansas City. Rick Porcello will pitch tomorrow night's game against Chicago's John Danks. 8:10 pm start time.