Tigers win five straight into All-Star break
The Detroit Tigers needed a strong week to end a tough first half of the 2012 season and they got just that. The Tigers faced two division foes and took advantage of the bottom half of the AL Central.
It didn’t seem like the Tigers were ready to take charge in the beginning of the week as they dropped the first-two games of a four game series with the Minnesota Twins. Starter Doug Fister struggled and only lasted four innings while giving up six runs, as the Twins 6-4. Next the Tigers put lefty Duane Below on the mound, who gave up just one earned run but only lasted 2 2/3 innings. Twins won again 8-6.
The Tigers needed to take the next two games to split the series and take some momentum into the Kansas City Royals series. They did just that.
The Tigers handed the ball to Justin Verlander as he went the distance to help the Tigers get a 5-1 win. Miguel Cabrera again proved that he should be starting in the All-Star game as he belted two home-runs.
Next up was Rick Porcello who was hoping to continue his hot pitching of late. Porcello gave up 12 hits but the Twins were only able to put three runs on the board. Prince Fielder showed off his power as he hit a three-run home run for the Tigers to get the 7-3 win.
Back-to-back wins helped the Tigers into the weekend vs. the Royals as they swept the All-Star host in a three game series. First, Drew Smyly struck out a career-high 10 batters and Delmon Young hit the game winning two-run homer in the 4-2 victory.
The Tigers did their best to blow a chance to get above .500 in the win on Saturday but pulled out an 8-7 victory. Closer Jose Valverde gave up three runs in the ninth inning but was able to close out the Royals. Fielder and Young both went yard again to give the Tigers the insurance runs needed to win.
The weekend cap was a strong one for the Tigers heading into the break. Fielder and Young again but went deep with Jhonny Peralta joining them. Seven strong innings from Max Scherzer with just one earned run helped the Tigers complete the sweep.
We have made it through the first half of the season, and although it was a disappointing one for the Tigers, they currently stand two-games above .500 at 44-42. So while many Tiger fans may be upset with what took place these past few months, the Tigers proved that there is still a lot of baseball left.
Getting above the .500 mark was the first step to turning around the season and now it will be focused on catching the Chicago White Sox. The Tigers are currently 4.5 games behind the red-hot White Sox who have won seven of their last ten.
The Tigers will certainly be active around the trade deadline to add another bat to the lineup and rumors are already starting surface.
So while you may be upset that the Tigers aren’t running away with the division like we all thought before the season, it is good to know they are headed in the right direction.