Verlander Dominates Mariners, Tigers Catch Twins


The Mariners starting pitchers have the best combined ERA of any rotation in the American League, but you wouldn’t know it by watching this series. The Tigers chased the Mariners starter before five innings were completed for the second consecutive night. This time, the victim was Jason Vargas.

Vargas, who entered the evening with a 2.80 ERA, gave up six runs on eight hits in what was easily his worst outing of the season. It was the first time he surrendered more than three runs since his first start of the year.

The Tiger hitters began a rally in the fourth inning with two-outs and none on, and ended up scoring two runs in the inning. A walk to Miguel Cabrera, a single by Brennan Boesch, and an infield hit by Carlos Guillen (aided by a poor defensive play by Chone Figgins) loaded the bases, and a double by Brandon Inge drove in two.

The Detroit scoring was wrapped up with a four-run outburst the very next inning. The top six hitters in the lineup reached base safely, causing three runs to score, and a Brandon Inge groundout drove in the inning’s fourth run. They wouldn’t score any more runs, but six was already well more than the would need. (…)

The real storyline for the game, however, was the play of Justin Verlander. He had his ace stuff going tonight, and never gave Seattle a chance to get back into the game. Justin baffled the Mariners’ hitters for most of the game, scattering three hits and a walk over the first six innings, before allowing four hits and a single run in the seventh. He finished the game with ten strikeouts.

Elsewhere, former Tiger Matt Joyce hit an eight inning grand slam to send the Tampa Bay Rays over the Minnesota Twins. The Twins loss allowed the Tigers to catch them in the standings. Why does it seem that everyone can beat the Twins except the Tigers?

Jeremy Bonderman (4-5, 4.36 ERA) will take the ball tomorrow as the Tigers go for the series sweep. Everyone’s trade target, Cliff Lee (7-3, 2.45), will toe the bump for the opposition.