Tag Archive: AL Central

Max Scherzer tossed eight scoreless innings against the White Sox on Sunday to improve to 4-0 on the season (AP)

The Tigers continued a recent string of success against the White Sox by pulling off a series sweep to improve to 12-10 on the season. Detroit outscored the struggling White Sox 21-3 during the series and have won nine straight over the Chi Sox dating back to last season. The Tigers are now 4-2 against the AL Central and 6-3 at home

Win: Max Scherzer (4-0)

Loss: John Danks (0-3)

Save: Jose Valverde (5)

Hero: Max Scherzer

Scherzer delivered another quality start, tossing eight scoreless innings to move to  4-0 on the season. After manager Jim Leyland emphasized the need for Scherzer to be more efficient with his pitches following his start against Seattle earlier in the week, Scherzer did just that. He only needed 104 pitches in his eight innings of work. In his previous starts he had reached the 100 pitch mark by the fifth or sixth inning.

Key sequence: The bottom of the sixth

With the Tigers holding on to a 1-0 lead, they added a pair of big runs with two outs. Alex Avila started the rally with his two-out single and came around to score on a double by Brandon Inge. Austin Jackson followed with a double to score Inge and push the Tigers lead to 3-0.


Brad Penny pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just one hit to earn his first victory as a Tiger on Saturday (AP)

The Tigers move above .500 for the first time this season with their shutout of the struggling White Sox.

Win Brad Penny (1-2)

Loss: Edwin Jackson (2-2)

Hero: Brad Penny

Penny entered the game with an ERA in 8s and struggled toward the tail end of his last start but he didn’t have any struggles against the White Sox on Saturday. Penny carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning – his bid ending on a controversial scoring play. He ended the day by throwing seven shutout innings, only allowing one hit in what was his best start by far as a Tiger. Penny struck out three and walked two while lowering his ERA to 6.35.

Key sequence: The Tigers broke the scoreless game open by plating five runs in the fourth inning. Alex Avila had one of the biggest hits, coming up with a two-RBI triple off former Tiger Edwin Jackson during the inning. Brandon Inge and Ryan Raburn also had RBI hits in the inning, while Magglio Ordonez drove in a run on a fielder’s choice.

Avila went 3 for 4 in the game to boost his average to .327 – third on the team behind only Brennan Boesch and Miguel Cabrera, who were each hitting .338.

Ryan Raburn (left), shown being congratulated by Austin Jackson (14) following his two-run homer, had four RBIs in Detroit's 9-3 win over the White Sox on Friday (AP)

Justin Verlander recorded his 1,000th career strikeout and limited the White Sox to just three solo home runs as the Tigers opened their three-game series with a win over Chicago.

Win: Verlander (2-2)

Loss: Mark Buehrle (1-2)

Hero: Ryan Raburn

Raburn went 2 for 5 with four RBIs to power the Tigers offense in the win. His two-run home run in the third put the Tigers ahead 4-0 and drove in what would prove to be the winning run. Friday marked the second straight contest in which Raburn homered.

Key: Raburn’s two-run homer was definitely the difference maker, but this was one of the best showings by the Tigers offense this season. The team generated runs throughout the entire contest with two in the second, two in third, one in the fourth, one in the sixth and three in the eighth. Casper Wells added two RBIs from the No. 9 spot, while Alex Avila, Jhonny Peralta and Brennan Boesch also drove in runs.

Strong night: Other than allowing a pair of solo homers to Carlos Quentin and a solo homer to Paul Konerko, Verlander was dominant against the White Sox. Verlander struck out eight and didn’t issue a walk while tossing seven innings.

Up next: Vs. Chicago, 4 p.m. Saturday

Oh those pesky Royals

The Royals are trying their best to spoil the Tigers' chance at winning the AL Central title once again. K.C. prevented the Tigers from the crown in 2006 and has beat Detroit the past two days.
The Royals are trying their best to spoil the Tigers’ chance at winning the AL Central title once again. K.C. prevented the Tigers from the crown in 2006 and has beat Detroit the past two days.

In 2006, all the Detroit Tigers needed to do was knock off the lowly Kansas City Royals to win the AL Central Division title.  They had just swept the Royals they weekend earlier and were playing in the final home series of the regular season but were unable to beat KC. The Royals swept the Tigers and that allowed the Minnesota Twins to finish a game ahead of them for the AL Central title. Luckily, that year the Tigers got the wild card and things worked out just fine as they beat the Yankees in the ALDS and swept Oakland in the ALCS before falling to St. Louis in the World Series.

This year, the Tigers won’t be so lucky and losses to the Royals might end up costing them the AL Central again. Detroit entered this series coming on a high, having just swept Tampa Bay on the road to build a season-high 7 game lead in the Central. But losses the past two nights to the Royals and are in danger of being swept (the Tigers currently trail the series finale 5-4 in the 7th inning) aren’t helping the cause to win the division. With three more games against the Royals at Copa next week, the Tigers will need to win these games to hang on for the division.

I still fell confident in Detroit’s chances, since Minnesota and the Chicago White Sox haven’t been able to gain much ground. But history has taught us, you can’t count Minnesota out until they are mathematically eliminated. That is why it is imperative for the Tigers to take care of business and win every game they possibly can over the final few weeks of the season.

Above photo taken by the Associated Press