Detroit 3, Oakland 2 (box)
The Tigers began their quest for road success with a trip to Oakland for a three game weekend set. Edwin Jackson got the ball for the Tigers and impressed. Desipte some sloppy defense, the Tigers held off the A’s for the 3-2 win in the series opener.
Jackson (10-5) bcame the third Tigers hurler to win 10 games this season, joining Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello. He needed 104 pitches to get through the sixth inning, but he allowed just six hits and two runs, while fanning five during his outing.
Gio Gonzalez racked up some big strikeout numbers in the minor leagues, and followed suit with his effort last night. The A’s 23 year old left hander struck out nine in just 5.2 innings, but Gonzalez (4-4) also walked four in the loss.
For the second straight game, the Tigers used Placido Polanco to lead off with Marcus Thames and Ryan Raburn to follow. Evidently Raburn likes the new lineup, as he belted two long home runs off Gonzalez, giving him three in his last two contests, and giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead last night. Both home runs came with two outs in the inning. Clete Thomas drove in a two out run with a single in the sixth.
- Edwin Jackson– He wasn’t as dominant as he has been, but Jackson did exactly what he needed to do last night. When Oakland put runners on base, Jackson got tougher and kept them from coming home. Oakland was 2 for 10 with RISP.
- Ryan Raburn– He made an error and generally misplayed another ball, but more than made up for it with his two long home runs. It’s always fun to see the left fielder just turn and look as the ball flies out of the park. A’s left fielder Scott Hairston did that twice when Raburn hit them. It was his second career multi-homer game, and the first since 2007.
- The Tigers’ Bullpen– SeayLyon and Fernandon Rodney combined for three innings of two hit, five strikeout relief.
- Marcus Thames– Thames is still “country strong”, but he hasn’t shown it lately. His o for 4 makes him zero for his last 16. If the Tigers do decide to call up a pitcher, would Thames be DFA’d? It could happen.
What’s on tap
Tonight’s game two will feature Armando Galarraga and Trevor Cahill. Galarraga has been about as consistent as someone who doesn’t ever seem to be consistent this year. He’s coming off a strong performance, so this one could get ugly. A Tigers win would assure them of their first winning road series in their last 10.