At rainy Comerica Park today the Detroit Tigers had a golden opportunity to lock up the series and have a chance at sweeping the struggling Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday. Then the bullpen imploded and the hopes for a sweep of the Blue Jays got washed down the drain with the itsy bitsy spider.
It all started in the top of the sixth inning when Darin Downs was called in to put down a Jays rally. Rick Porcello had a five run lead but left the in the sixth after allowing a run and leaving runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. In response Jays pinch hitter Mark Derosa doubles in both runs. To his credit Darin Downs did settle down and struck out two of the next three batters to get out of the inning and get the hold.
In the seventh the wheels really came off the wagon. Bryan Villareal was asked to relieve Downs after a Melkey Cabrera single. Villareal, who entered the game with a 33.75 ERA, walked the next three batters allowing another run to score. That cut the Detroit Tigers five run lead to one with bases loaded. Jim Leyland came with the hook for Villareal in favor of Octavio Dotel. The next hitter J.P. Arencibia doubled, scoring three runs and completing the collapse. That gave the Blue Jays an 8-6 lead. That is all the Jays would need.
The loss wastes an 11 hit offensive output for the Detroit Tigers. Four Tigers had multiple hits including Miguel Cabrera who had a double, a single and scored a run. Torii Hunter fresh off getting hit #2,000 extended his hit streak to five games.
It figures now that the offense is coming around the bullpen is faltering. The bullpen allowed 4 ER in 4 innings while allowing 3 walks. There was one exception to the rule. Phil Coke seemed to return to form pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
On the loss the Detroit Tigers fall to 4-4 but have a chance to win the series tomorrow before they head out west. Once again rain is in the forecast so expect a delay in the game at some point. First pitch Thursday at 1:08 pm.