The Tigers scored one first inning run on Friday and lost. They scored two first inning runs on Saturday and lost. They scored three first inning runs on Sunday and won. The difference? They turned the game over to the bullpen with the lead.
Although the wining run was scored in the first inning this game was anything but a laugher. Rick Porcello’s six strong innings allowed the early lead to hold up while the Tigers offense went cold, just as they had done in the first two games of the series. The last man Rick Porcello faced was the most important at bat of the game as the Tigers clung to a 3-2 lead. With two out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth Joe Torre sent Manny Ramirez to the plate in place of starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. Manny’s aggressiveness worked against him as he ended the inning with a routine ground ball to Brandon Inge on a tailing two seam fastball.
With the bullpen in control and a few insurance runs on the board, Jose Valverde was able to pitch a scoreless ninth in what turned out to be a non-save situation to hand the Dodgers just their second loss in the last 14 games.
Note: Miguel Cabrera will not play in Seattle so that he can be with his wife when she gives birth to their second child on Tuesday. Don Kelly may get the start on Tuesday while Ryan Raburn and Johnny Damon have also played some first base in their careers.