Tag Archive: Alex Avila


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.

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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.

Thoughts on Game 5 of 162

Power surge: Alex Avila (right) hit a two-run homer and had five RBIs to lead the Tigers to a 7-3 win over the Orioles on Wednesday night. (AP)

Key players: Alex Avila and Justin Verlander

It was nice to see Alex Avila’s bat come to life. The Tigers catcher had quite the game and was a huge reason behind Detroit winning for the second time in its last three games. Avila had a key two-out, two-RBI double in the second inning that got the Tigers on the board, added a two-run home run that he crushed to right field in the fourth inning and then had a key RBI hit in the eighth that provided the Tigers with a key insurance run. Four of Avila’s five RBIs came with two outs. The catcher also stole a base

Verlander had another quality start (when a pitcher lasts  at least six innings and gives up three or fewer earned runs) for the Tigers, giving up just three runs in eight innings while striking out nine. He is the only Detroit starter to have logged a quality start this season.

Key sequence: Avila concluded a lengthy at-bat in the second inning with a key two-out double in the second inning was the key to the contest. Brennan Boesch and Jhonny Peralta had each reached safely with two outs because of errors and the Tigers had to take advantage of the opportunity. They cashed in with Avila’s clutch hit.

Heating up: Victor Martinez had his best game of the season, going 3 for 5 with a solo home run and two runs scored. Heading into Wednesday’s game, the DH/catcher was hitting .176 with one homer through the Tigers’ first four contests. He followed Miguel Cabrera’s solo homer run (his third long ball of the season) with a solo homer of his own. It provided one of our first glimpses this season of how dangerous the middle of the Tigers lineup can be..

Grounded birds: Wednesday marked the first contest this season where the Orioles had allowed more than one run. Baltimore (4-1) had only given up four runs in its four games and the Tigers (2-3) nearly doubled that total in Wednesday’s game. Orioles starter Brad Bergeson only lasted 3 2/2 innings, giving up five hits and four runs (two earned).

Up next: at Baltimore, 7 p.m. Thursday

Thoughts on Game 1 of 162 for the Tigers

Hero: New York’s Curtis Granderson

Former Tiger Curtis Granderson's solo home run in the 7th inning broke a 3-3 tie and lifted the Yankees to a 6-3 win over Detroit in Thursday's season opener (AP)

Granderson was by far today’s most valuable performer. His only hit – a solo homer off reliever Phil Coke – was the one that broke a 3-3 tie and vaulted the Yankees to the opening day win. The former Tiger also made several big plays in the field – ones we were accustomed to seeing in Detroit – that helped the Yankees as well.

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First impressions

Justin Verlander carried a strong spring over into the season opener. His first start was a quality one – 6 innings pitched, just the three earned runs on three hits and eight strikeouts. Lone negative was the three-run homer he gave up to Mark Teixeira, the four walks and a 31-pitch opening inning. But the Yankees have a kind of lineup that is going to make you work.

– The bullpen wasn’t so hot today as it went three innings and surrendered three runs to the Yankees. Coke, who is temporarily being used out of the bullpen with the extra off days over the first week and a half, gave up 2 runs (1 earned) and Ryan Perry gave up one, Meanwhile the Yankees bullpen of Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera combined for three scoreless innings and didn’t allow a hit.

– Victor Martinez, one of the Tigers’ big pick ups in the offseason, was 1-for-4 in his Detroit debut. He singled in the second inning.

– Alex Avila looked out of sync at the plate against CC Sabathia and fanned three times today. He also was a little shaky defensively. If Avila gets off to a slow start, you have to wonder how patient the Tigers will be with him. That also could change the lineup drastically with Victor Martinez probably catching more than a 1/3 of the games. That could open some at-bats for Brennan Boesch or Casper Wells as a DH or outfielder. Something to keep an eye on.

With that being said, this is just one game and most of Avila’s at-bats came against one of the best left-handed pitchers in the game. Facing CC wasn’t the best of matchups for him.

– Austin Jackson will need to cut down on the strikeouts. He showed some better pitch recognition this spring but opened the season by striking out three times

– The top three hitters in the Tigers lineup went a combined 1 for 11. Jackson’s single was the lone hit.

– A bright spot was the bottom of the Tigers lineup, which drove in 2 of the 3 runs. Jhonny Peralta had a sacrifice fly and Brandon Inge had a two-out RBI hit. Miguel Cabrera had the other RBI with a sacrifice fly. Ryan Raburn also had a nice diving catch in left field and went 1 for 3 with a walk

Up next: At Yankees, 4 p.m. Saturday