The Tigers Sitting on Top in the A.L Central
After finally catching up with the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, The Detroit Tigers had things fall into place very nicely on Wednesday.
Detroit squared off with the pesky Royals last night that ended in a 5-4 victory for the Tigers.
In the last ten games, Tiger's starting hurlers have given up just nineteen earned runs in fifty-seven innings of work. Wednesday night however, would not go as smoothly.
Rick Porcello started the game and put in four innings of work. Rick gave up four earned runs while scattering seven hits. He exited the game with Detroit down by three.
Detroit's bullpen entered last night's game with a 3.81 earned run average as a unit, which was ranked twelfth in the American League. Not too shabby. However, "the pen" sits dead last in batting average against with a mark of .250.
With those numbers, it is safe to say, Detroit fans wish Justin Verlander could start every game and go the distance.
This would not be the case on Wednesday night. The Tiger relievers scattered three hits over the remaining five shutout innings while striking out six, allowing for the not-so-greatest closer in the league to enter in the ninth.
Al Alburquerque - Detroit's star of the night. Al pitched two and a third innings of relief while giving up just 1 hit and striking out three. In the last seven days, Alburquerque has tossed nearly eight innings with no walks or runs allowed. The Tiger reliever was greatly missed after appearing in only eight games since returning from the disabled list with a stress fracture in his elbow.
Late Inning Magic
Heading into the bottom of the eighth inning all tied up, the tigers would look to the bottom-half of the lineup to come up big.
Delmon Young hit a one-out single that would allow Don Kelly to enter the game as a pinch-runner. With Andy Dirks batting, Kelly would steal second base. Dirks then singled on a ground ball to give the tigers a first-and-third situation with one out.
Now it was Jhonny's turn. Peralta grounded into what seemed like a tailor-made double play until Dirks saved the day. Andy motored into second base, taking out the second baseman along the way. Andy's hustle allowed for Don Kelly to score from third in which would end up as the winning run.
If the Tiger's bullpen can perform like it did on Wednesday night, Detroit fans wont have to worry about the White Sox for much longer. In the mean time, Detroit looks to close out the series strong with a victory today against the Royals before they ship out to Minnesota for a three game series.