Tigers 8, Braves 3 (box score)
It was more of the same for the Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves: lots of strikeouts by Detroit pitching, lots of runs by Detroit hitting, and a Tigers victory. Much of the game was played through fog, mist, and rain, but the precipitation didn’t dampen either the Detroit offense or the pitching.
Doug Fister threw seven excellent innings for the Tigers. He recorded eight strikeouts, allowed zero walks, and really only ran into trouble in the fourth inning when the Braves strung together a few seeing-eye base hits to score three runs. Three runs in seven innings makes for a good outing, but Fister deserved better (and pitched better) on the evening.
Al Alburquerque added three strikeouts in 1.0+ innings of relief giving the Tigers a total of 11 strikeouts for the night and 39 for the series.
Jose Valverde came into the game in the ninth inning (non save situation) after Alburquerque allowed the first two hitters to reach base (a walk and a hit batter). Papa Grande allowed a long fly ball, which Don Kelly snagged mid-sprint, but then induced two quick ground balls to strand both runners. He’s now thrown three innings without walking a batter and without allowing a run.
On offense, the Tigers scored six of their eight runs via the long ball. Austin Jackson went deep for a three-run homer in the third inning, Omar Infante hit a solo bomb in the seventh inning, and Miguel Cabrera followed with a three-run blast later in the seventh.
Detroit outscored Atlanta 25-7 in the three-game series. I’m sure the Braves feel just like the Tigers did as they were leaving Los Angeles last weekend: relieved to be heading home.
The Tigers are now 13-10 (.565, 91-92 win pace) on the season; they’re a half game back of the Kansas City Royals for first place in the AL Central.