For quite a while now the Detroit Tigers have held on to a lead in the American League Central division. At times the lead has been a game or so and at times the lead has been almost nothing. Finally as the month of June crawls on the lead has become enough for them to be a little bit comfortable. Some of that is there doing and some isn’t but to be sure the sweep they just completed of the Cleveland Indians was a big help in turning their 0.5 game lead at the first of June to the current 5.5 game lead.
The Tigers are 5 – 2 in June and seem to be doing everything right. Even the Major League Baseball debut of starting pitcher Jose Alvarez turned into gold. Taking the spot start in place of Anibal Sanchez, Alvarez made the most of his chance to start in the bigs by taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning. All total he went six innings giving up 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 7 Indians batters. It’s hard to ask for more than that for a spot start MLB debut.
If the Tigers are looking over their shoulder to see if anyone is charging up behind them they will likely see the Kansas City Royals who are also 5 – 2 in the month of June and have climbed from last to third place in the last week. The teams meet this week in a three game series that will either give the Tigers even more breathing room or introduce them to their newest threat to the division lead. The Tigers have won four straight and the Royals five straight.
Basically this should be a great little series to watch and see what the Royals can do with the far out front Tigers. From the Tigers perspective, they most certainly are enjoying the breathing room they have won for themselves with the sweep of the Indians. If they want even more room they could take the series from the Royals and the follow-up against the Minnesota Twins. That would probably allow them to cruise into the all-star break working on their relief issues in a fun, stress free environment.