Detroit 6, Boston 5 (box)
I can’t even remember the last time the Tigers won a road game, I just know it was sometime before the all-star break. Last night, the Tigers new third baseman belted a solo homer on the second pitch he saw. Talk about making a good first impression, huh?
Jhonny Peralta was not the impact bat the fans of the Tigers were pining over this month, not at all. When the trade was announced, fans were not thrilled. Those who didn’t like the trade hated it, either because of the prospect the Tigers gave up, or because it was Peralta (and not Stephen Drew) that was acquired. But Peralta might just be a guy in need of a change of scenery to jump start his once promising career. He took a bit step toward doing just that last night. Especially after his second home run of the game, this one was a two-run blast. (more after the jump)
The Tigers built a 6-1 lead last night on the back of Peralta’s blasts and the pitching of Armando Galarraga and Robbie Weinhardt. Galarraga was in line for the win until a line drive caught his leg and he had to leave the game one out shy of qualifying for victory. Weinhart worked two scoreless frames, which would be enough to earn the win.
Then there was the night of closer Jose Valverde. Papa Grande entered the game in the eighth, leading 6-1. He quashed a Red Sox rally in that inning and struck out the side in the ninth, but not before battling command issues. He allowed two hits and he walked five in his outing. One of those hits was a grand slam off the bat of David Ortiz. In total, Valverde threw 60 pitches. Jim Leyland said after the game that Papa Grande would definitely not pitch for the rest of the weekend.
Certainly there is some growing concern about Valverde recently. To say he hasn’t been sharp would be an understatement. Could it be that he’s hiding an injury (or at least a bit of soreness)? Or is this just a bad stretch for him? The Tigers had better hope it the latter, as they absolutely cannot afford to lose their closer in an already depleted bullpen.
Nevertheless, this was a good win for Detroit, any win these days is a good one. The Tigers now have Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander lined up for the rest of the weekend as they try to win a road series for the first time since 2006, or at least it seems that long ago.