Tigers were back at home, but bats were still working like they were against the Angels.
All the damage today was provided by the bottom 3 in the order. Brandon Inge started things with a solo HR in the second. Right after the home run, Gerald Laird was plunked by Tampa starter Matt Garza. Laird got his revenge in the 4th. 2 walks and a Inge single had the bases loaded for Gerald. Gabe Gross decided to use the Copa outfield as a slip-n-slide, and a Laird line drive to right turned into a 2 run double. Adam Everett followed that with a double of his own to left. Curtis Granderson drove in Everett with a double of his own and the Tigers had a 6-0 lead.
Rick Porcello used that run support to pick up his 11th win of the season. Porcello broke the 100 pitch mark for the first time all season. Fu Te Ni, and Brandon Lyon combined to pitch a perfect 3.1 innings, leaving Bobby Seay to work out some kinks in the 9th. Sadly he did not as he gave up a home run to Gabe Kapler and a single to BJ Upton before giving way to Fernando Rodney. Fernando fought through the rain to record the final out and preserve the win for the Tigers
The return of Nate Robertson occurs in front of a National (well 1/3 of the nation) audience. I will have to miss out on the game for 2 reasons. First, since there is an NL East team playing that is what will be on my local broadcast. Secondly, and most importantly, my wife and I will be celebrating our First Anniversary. The pennant race will be taking a back seat for the rest of the weekend. I would appreciate breaking the 10 games above .500 bubble a great present.
Tigers 6 Rays 2
W: Porcello (11-9)
L: Garza (7-9)
W - L
68 - 59
1st Place AL Central (4.5 games ahead of Minnesota)