Toronto 6, Detroit 4 (box)
Magic Number 17
Aaron Hill might be the best hitter among second basemen in all of baseball this season, and he strengthened his case last night. Toronto’s second sacker went 4 for 4 in leading the Blue Jays past the Tigers last night. Toronto has now won four of the five meeting between the two clubs.
Nate Robertson started for Detroit, but he wasn’t sharp. Right from the jump, Marco Scutaro hit a long fly ball to left that might have only stayed in the park thanks to stiff breeze blowing in. That was a recurring theme for the first few innings. Robertson danced through danger in each of the first three frames, working himself into and out of jams as Toronto stranded seven early baserunners.
Trouble finally caught up to Robertson in the fourth as the Jays scored twice and Robertson had to leave the game, straining a muscle as he ran to back up home. Armando Galarraga replaced him and looked good, fanning the first two batters he faced.
But Galarraga’s success didn’t last, he allowed a Rod Barajas solo home run to lead off the seventh, a shot that narrowly escaped the grasp of Ryan Raburn. Two batters later, Randy Ruiz belted a long home run off Ryan Perry to extend the Jays lead to 6-1.
The Tigers managed to get back into it, plating three runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh. Ryan Raburn singled home Gerald Laird, who had started the inning with a double. Miguel Cabrera had an RBI single of his own, and Marcus Thames hit a 390 foot sacrifice fly that was almost a grand slam. But Detroit couldn’t pull any closer than the 6-4 final.
- Ryan Raburn– Raburn gunned down another baserunner and turned in another multi-hit game. 2 for 4 with two RBI. Raburn is quickly becoming my wife’s favorite player, if he keeps playing like this, it will be for more than just his looks.
- Magglio Ordonez– Maggs had another two hit game, and while he is still not finding his lost extra-base power, he is hitting the ball hard routinely. Magglio is now hitting .290 on the season.
- Nate Robertson– Nate pitched like Dontrelle Willis last night. His final line included 3.2 innings, six hits, five walks, and zero punch outs. All 11 outs he recorded were on fly balls. He threw 83 pitches, just 41 of those were strikes.
- Curtis Granderson– Granderson cannot hit left handers, batting below .180 against them this season. To make matters worse, he’s swinging at everything. If you missed Grandy’s 0 for 4 it’s understandable, he only faced 10 pitches total. I have an idea, Curtis; you are 3 for 5 when bunting for a hit this season, try that once in awhile, at least it would be more exciting than a chopper to second.
What’s on tap
Detroit tries to halt a four game losing streak tonight when Edwin Jackson takes the ball. The Jays will counter with Canadian born right hander, Scott Richmond. Richmond (6-9, 4.76) has never faced the Tigers, but has faced Aubrey Huff five times. Huff has two hits and two strike outs versus Richmond. Jackson (12-6, 3.10) makes his second start of the season against Toronto. He allowed just one earned run over 7.1 innings at the Rogers Centre in an April 7 no decision. He is 2-3 in 11 career starts versus the Jays, with an ERA of 3.53.
While the Tigers have been losing, the Twins and White Sox have followed suit. Minnesota got hammered at home against Oakland last night, while the White Sox dropped the first game of their series at Los Angeles. The Twins loss cuts the Tigers’ Magic Number to 17.