The Detroit Tigers played an entirely different game of baseball this afternoon against the Los Angeles Dodgers than they did last night, but the result ended up the same, with the Tigers taking both games. Max Scherzer(W, 11-3, 3.35 ERA) was dominant through seven innings, giving up a single run, Miguel Rojas‘ first career Major League home run in the fifth inning. Aside from that, Scherzer got into a few jams, giving up four hits and two walks, but escaping each bump without allowing a run to score. Scherzer’s final line: 7IP, 4H, 1R/ER, 2BB, 7K.
Joba Chamberlain(H, 2.78 ERA) pitched a flawless eighth, striking out two, including Dodgers All Star Yasiel Puig. Joe Nathan closed things out for the Tigers, earning a save and also striking out two without allowing a base runner.
The lineup for today’s game, according to a large part of the Tigers’ fanbase, was nothing more than a white flag signaling defeat before the first pitch was thrown. Without Victor Martinez yet again due to his sore side, there was palpable discomfort when the lineup was announced, also sans slugger Miguel Cabrera. Even more outrage was generated by the knowledge that Austin Jackson was again batting lead off and polarizing utility player Don Kelly was slotted to bat fifth. Thankfully though, Brad Ausmus‘ wacky lineup worked well enough to plate four runs and give Scherzer and his relievers plenty of unneeded breathing room. And, funny enough, Jackson and Kelly both had fantastic games. Jackson started the game hot, hitting a triple off Zack Greinke and scoring on the base hit by Ian Kinsler that followed. Austin finished the day with two hits and two runs scored. Don Kelly had two hits, an RBI and his second career intentional walk(really) in the eighth inning.