Detroit 9, Chicago 2 (box)
The Tigers didn’t manage their first hit against former teammate Edwin Jackson until there were two out in the sixth. Once the lid was taken off, however, the floodgates opened up.
While Jackson was posting zeros, Max Scherzer was matching him pitch-for-pitch, at least until the fourth inning. That’s when Manny Ramirez connected on a Scherzer offering and sent it deep into the left field stand, recording Chicago’s first hit of the night, and Manny’s first homer with his new club. Chicago’s only other hit off of Scherzer was also a homer, served up to Brent Morel in the fifth.
With one out in the seventh, the Tigers finally went to work on Jackson. Miguel Cabrera singled to right and moved to third on Don Kelly‘s single. a wild pitch scored the first Tigers run, but it wouldn’t be their last. After Jackson walked Ryan Raburn, putting runners at first and second, Jhonny Peralta singled home the tying run and chased Jackson from the game. Scott Linebrink was no relief at all. He struck out the first batter he faced and the game might have stayed tied, but Alex Avila hammered a double over the head of Andruw Jones in center, putting the Tigers up by two. The next batter, Austin Jackson, connected with a fastball that was down in the zone and sent a long line-drive into the left-centerfield gap. The ball just kept carrying and eventually cleared the wall for AJax’s fourth home run of the year.
The Tigers collected three m ore runs in the ninth, coming on back-to-back doubles and a sacrifice fly. Brandon Inge, who authored the second of those doubles, collected his 200th two-bagger of his career.
A game that began with almost no offense from either team eventually became a game where the Tigers posted nine runs. This is a different team when players at the bottom of the order come through on occasion. If not for Avila’s two-out double in the seventh, Chicago gets out of the inning tied and then maybe things turn out differently. The way Scherzer was pitching, maybe not.
Max fanned 11, marking the fifth double-digit strikeout game of his career. He worked eight innings and the only two hits he allowed were the solo homers. I guess if you want to pick nit, he could do a better job of keeping the ball in the yard, but you’d really have to be reaching to even want to complain about that. There’s a lot to like about this young right hander, he’s gonna be real good for a long, long time.