Detroit Tigers pitcher Mike Pelfrey got his first win and against one of the toughest pitchers in the American League.
The Detroit Tigers faced the left-handed fastball pitcher Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox on Saturday afternoon and came away winning 7-4. The majority of the team contributed to the win with the closing ace Francisco Rodriguez earning his 16th save.
J.D. Martinez hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to help secure Pelfrey’s first win and then the floodgates opened for the Tigers. In the sixth, the score was 3-2, with the Tigers in the lead. In the seventh inning, Cameron Maybin earned an RBI helping Jose Iglesias cross the plate.
Then, in the eighth inning, the Tigers earned three more runs. Mike Aviles scored J.D. Martinez on a sac bunt and an error. Andrew Romine scored on a fielder’s choice by Jose Iglesias. Then, Mike Aviles scored when Cameron Maybin singled.
In the earlier innings, J.D. Martinez hit a sac fly to score Cameron Maybin. It took a few innings to get Chris Sale figured out, but once the Tigers did, they found ways to get on base and score. After Iglesias scored in the seventh, Sale was pulled and replaced by Matt Albers.
There were several highlights of the game, but this tweet from Dan Dickerson sums up the pitching of Mike Pelfrey in 140 characters:
While the win gave the Tigers the official win in the three-game series against the White Sox (the third game is tomorrow), there were plenty of other good things to notice and celebrate. First, Brad Ausmus finally moved J.D. Martinez back to the spot where he belongs – the five hole. Ausmus put Maybin in the second hole, which is a perfect spot for him because he often gets on base so Miguel Cabrera can move him around and help him get back home.
It was clear that J.D. Martinez appreciated the move back to the five hole. He went two for three today with three RBIs and one run. Maybin also had a good day going three for five with two RBIs. He crossed home plate twice.
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The other good move was keeping Justin Upton out of the lineup. Mike Aviles went one for three today and did not strike out. Upton has played in 51 games and has 75 strikeouts. Aviles has played in 22 games and has 13 strikeouts. Aviles has a low batting average, but in his past seven games, he is batting .294 and Upton has a .154 batting average in his last seven games.
There was one major disappointment in today’s game: Mark Lowe. While this may not come as much of surprise, but he was on the fast track to losing the game after Pelfrey and the team worked hard to get a substantial lead. Pelfrey pitched in six innings, allowing five hits and two runs. Shane Greene stepped in to pitch the seventh inning – earning two strikeouts. Then, Justin Wilson closed out the eighth inning with one hit and one strikeout.
For some strange reason, Ausmus put Mark Lowe in to finish out the ninth inning. Lowe floundered again, allowing two runs to score, bringing the score to 7-4. Since he could not get the third out, Ausmus yanked him and put K-Rod on the mound. He quickly got the out and secured the win.
Hopefully, Lowe’s continued failures on the mound will keep Ausmus from using him again. Fans would love to see Lowe find a spot with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens.