It’s amazing what 48 hours can do for a team in a pennant race. Monday night, the Tigers were three games back of the Chicago White Sox for the AL Central lead as they struggled to push runs across the plate. Fast forward to tonight and all of a sudden the Tigers bats are clicking and now sit just a game back of that coveted top spot in the division.
I guess you can say it’s just another game in what has become a very polarizing season for the Tigers.
What hasn’t been polarizing though is the play of Tigers starter Max Scherzer who continues to give quality outings. Tonight the Detroit right hander went six innings allowing just one run on four hits. He struck out seven and walked zero earning his 16th win of the season.
Scherzer’s only blemish came in the fourth inning when Kevin Youkilis hit a solo home run to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead.
From there though the Tigers scored eight straight runs including three in the fifth and seventh. Three of those runs in the top half of the seventh inning came courtesy of a Prince Fielder home run against reliever Leyson Septimo, snapping an 0-for-18 slump and giving Detroit a 6-1 lead. The final two runs for Detroit came via RBI doubles by Alex Avila and Austin Jackson in the top of the 8th.
Chicago wasn’t going quietly though as they tagged the Tigers bullpen for five runs. This included a second home run (3 RBIs) by Kevin Youkilis in the home half of the 8th cutting into the Detroit lead 8-5. And in the 9th Chicago managed to push across one final run before Tigers closer Jose Valverde was able to preserve the win and earn his 30th save of the season.
The Tigers have now won 9 of their last 10 against the White Sox and go for the series win Thursday afternoon when Justin Verlander takes on Chris Sale in the series finale.
h/t: Detroit News, Associated Press