Verlander Fans 12, Detroit Tigers Sweep the Blue Jays
It was looking like it was going to be a bleak day for the Tigers. In the first inning, Miguel Cabrera was robbed of a doubled, but as he was rounding first he re-aggravated his ankle, which has been bothering him for weeks now.
In the bottom of the second after Prince Fielder fielded a pop-up, Tigers’ trainer Kevin Rand noticed Cabrera walking gingerly back to third. Manager Jim Leyland and Rand rushed out of the dugout, and with very little conversation, Cabrera was pulled from the game.
Cabrera’s missing presence was very noticeable throughout the game. J.A. Happ was dominating the Tigers. Happ only allowed four hits, and struck out seven in his 7 1/3 innings of work.
It was looking like Happ may go the distance and shutout the Tigers, but in the bottom of the eighth Alex Avila walked with one out, which ended Happ’s day. Former Tiger Brandon Lyon came on to try and get Austin Jackson out. Jackson singled off Lyon, putting runners on first and second.
Omar Infante flew out and Leyland pinch-hit Brennan Boesch for Ramon Santiago. Daren Oliver came out to try and get Boesch out. Boesch came up with a huge two out single to cut the lead to 2-1. Oliver then uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Jackson to tie the game.
Justin Verlander — who was outstanding in his nine innings of work — striking out 12 Blue Jays, now had a chance to maybe get the win. After pitching a scoreless ninth, the Tigers tried to walk-off in the bottom of the ninth to get their ace the win. But the Tigers’ offense would go down in order.
This game wouldn’t end until the bottom of the 11th. Jhonny Peralta lead off the inning with a single. Delmon Young nearly hit into his second double play of the game but beat it out. Quintin Berry pinch-ran for Young. Berry stole his 17th base of the year, setting the table for Andy Dirks to perhaps win the game with a single.
Dirks would not get the job done, striking out on three pitches. Could Jeff Baker be the hero? No, he walked. Then Avila came up. Avila already has a walk-off hit underneath his belt this year, could he get it done again? He would. Avila singled in Berry giving the Tigers the win and a series sweep.
The Tigers welcome in the Los Angeles Angels to Comerica Park for the second time this year. Game one features one of the newer Angels, but an old face to the Tigers, Zack Greinke (1-2), who going up against Rick Porcello (9-8). Looking for his 10th win of the year.
- Miguel Cabrera is listed as day-to-day and no word yet if he will play in the series against the Angels
- Doug Fister will not make his start Saturday. The rookie southpaw, Drew Smyly will take his spot. Leyland says it’s “highly doubtful” Fister will have to be placed on the DL.
Follow me on Twitter for all the latest Detroit Tigers and MLB news: @JohnCzech