On a night when the Detroit Tigers‘ bats were quite silent, a late-game rally was all this team needed to win, extending their AL Central lead over the Cleveland Indians to four games. It took nine innings, but the Tigers got an offensive boost in the final inning of the game from Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez and most importantly, Alex Avila.
Fielder has been struggling lately, however, the All-Star first baseman sent a ball into the left-field corner for a double. He then scored on a Martinez single. After Hernan Perez pinch ran for Martinez and Andy Dirks walked, Avila stepped up to the plate with men on first and second and sent a bomb into the left field seats, quieting the crowd and eventually sending them home unhappy.
The Tigers’ win can be attributed, in one way or another, to three people: Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez kept the game close, Indians closer Chris Perez blew the save, but Avila, who put the Tigers ahead for good, was directly responsible for the win and became the Tigers’ hero of the night.
This win was huge for the Tigers because it put them up in the division by four games and gave them their ninth straight win. They have extended their torrid display of winning to a little over a two-week period.
Jim Leyland has to be happy with how things are going with this team following the Jhonny Peralta suspension. Jose Iglesias is the shortstop of the future and looks great on defense, Omar Infante is starting a rehab stint on Tuesday and Miguel Cabrera is slowly but surely getting healthier.
Watch out, Cleveland, this Tigers team means business, and their winning ways — this time thanks to Avila — don’t seem to be calming down any time soon.