Tigers end June on strong note
June 25 – July 1
Coming into last week, Detroit faced one of their toughest stretches of the year. The Tigers continued their 10-game road streak against two of the top teams in the American League. First Detroit traveled to Texas to face not only the Texas Rangers, but the heat also.
Detroit played each game of the three-game series in 100 degree heat or higher. The Tigers needed a few wins to stay within striking distance of the Chicago White Sox for the division lead.
Detroit started out with an 8-2 victory on Monday thanks to one of Rick Porcello’s best outings of the year. Porcello finished with six innings, one earned run, and seven strikeouts.
But the Tigers were shut down the next two games and lost the series to the Rangers. The Tigers fell 5-7 and 9-13 and were headed to Tampa for a four-game series with the Rays.
The Tigers jumped on the Rays in game one and took down ace James Shields. A strong performance from Max Scherzer and lively bats from Miguel Cabrera and Austin Jackson helped power the Tigers to the win. Both Cabrera and Jackson finished going 4 for 5 on the day.
The Tigers dropped game two when Justin Verlander took the mound. Verlander gave up two homeruns to Desmond Jennings which turned out to be the difference. But the Tigers still could win the series with back-to-back wins. They did just that.
Porcello and Drew Smyly took care of the Rays as the Tigers bats did enough offensively. The 4-3 record on the week puts the Tigers at 39-40 and 3.0 games back in the division.
The Tigers return home for a seven game home stand and it couldn’t have worked out any better a week before the All-Star break. The Tigers begin a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins, who are currently in last place in the AL Central.
The Twins pitching staff should have Tiger fans smiling as the Twins rank second-to-last in team ERA. Realistically, this should be a four-game sweep for the Tigers, but it all depends on if the bats decide to show up.
The Kansas City Royals come into town for a three-game series to end the first-half of baseball. The Royals are another team lacking any threat at pitching and also rank in the bottom half of the league in ERA.
The Tigers would need nothing more than to end this week on a strong note. Last year, the Tigers made a run right before the All-Star break to take over the division and this year just may be no different.