Baltimore 3, Detroit 7 (box)
Tigers rookie Rick Porcello was greeted by a familiar face when he took the mound Thursday afternoon against the Orioles. It was that of Alex Avila, the Tigers catcher who was making his major league debut just one season removed from catching Porcello in the Florida State League.
The two of them fell into a good rhythm, as Porcello did not allow a hit until a Ty Wigginton single in the fifth. Porcello (10-7) worked 5.2 innings overall, yielding just two runs and four hits. Brandon Lyon got the final five outs for his first save as a Tiger.
The Tigers’ bats also had a strong performance in this one. Magglio Ordonez singled with one out in the second and immediately cruised home on Brandon Inge’s 22nd home run of the season, his first since the all-star break. After Avila struck out in his first big league at bat, Ramon Santiago smoked a triple and was brought home by a Curtis Granderson double to complete the whole team-hitting-for-the-cycle-in-one-inning thing.
Avila made his contribution the offensive outburst with an RBI double in the third, for his first ML hit and RBI, driving in Inge, who had singled. Avila later added a single of his own, becoming one of the five Tigers who had at least two hits in a 13 hit attack.
Orioles rookie David Hernandez (3-4) did not fair well in his second go around versus Detroit. He had earned his first ML victory when the two team met in Baltimore earlier in the season. Hernandez gave up five earned runs in just three innings of work, raising his ERA to 3.96.
- Avila- welcome to the big leagues, kid. Here’s hoping you play more than Dusty Ryan did.
- Inge- His second inning home run gave the Tigers an early lead, and restored some faith in this season. The Tigers need him to hit like he did in the first half.
- Porcello- who was very, very good before running into some trouble in the middle innings. Another strong start to follow his previous outing. Perhaps his mid-season struggles are behind him?
- Curtis Granderson- two hits and two walks got Grandy on base four times. He added two runs and two 2-out RBI.
- Jim Leyland- for not using Fernando Rodney with a four run lead. Maybe he’s learning.
- Luke Scott- Where oh where did the Tiger killer go? After a two run double in his first at bat of the series, Scott did not collect another hit.
- Miguel Cabrera- complete nitpicking here I know, but he was the only Tigers starter to go without a hit today. Cabrera fanned twice and left five men on base.
What’s on tap
The Minnesota Twins come to town this weekend fresh off a loss to Cleveland that dropped them to 4.5 games behind the Tigers. I hate to set my sights too high, but if the Tigers can sweep this weekend, they may not have to worry anymore about the Twins. Detroit will throw Armando Galarraga, Justin Verlander, and Jarrod Washburn in the three game set.