It was Prince Fielder‘s return that may have been the main story line on Thursday night, but Alfredo Simon stole the show for the Detroit Tigers, holding powerful bats to just one hit while blanking the Texas Rangers 4-0. It was Detroit’s third straight win, something that has not happened since June 21-23.
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Simon started and finished the game, looking sharp for the Tigers, allowing only one base runner to reach through the first 4.1 innings (via an Ian Kinsler error), not surrendering a hit until one out in the fifth inning. It had been a long time since Simon had been this effective and this outing was the deepest he’s gone in a game since going eight innings in a win over the Chicago White Sox on June 7.
It was the first complete game for Simon as a member of the Tigers and came at a perfect time to save the battered bullpen.
Offensively, the Tigers looked like they could break it open early in the first inning, taxing Texas starter Martin Perez with 30+ pitches, but he escaped the bases loaded jam with just one run scoring via another Nick Castellanos RBI (after five on Wednesday night in Chicago).
Castellanos drove in the second run in the third inning on a sacrifice fly and Miguel Cabrera singled home Kinsler in the fourth to give Detroit the 3-0 advantage.
Fielder was booed in each of his four at-bats. It was not a motivating factor for the slugger as he was hitless, including bouncing into a double play.