For the Detroit Tigers to win the series against Cleveland they needed a strong start from Justin Verlander. JV responded by pitching 7 innings while allowing only 2 runs on four hits.
The start was pretty much smooth sailing for Verlander. He limited his walks and never really ran into any serious trouble other than the monster blast Carlos Santana launched off Verlander in 4th, he looked like his old self again.
Verlander got some much-needed run support from unlikely sources and after back to back home runs in the top of the seventh by Rajai Davis and Ian Kinsler the tigers took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning.
That is when things got a little interesting.
Al Alburquerque entered the game in relief of Justin Verlander in the 8th and hit lead-off batter Micheal Bourne with a pitch. Asdrubal Cabrera then doubled in Bourne to close the gap to just one run.
Just up from Toledo, Blaine Hardy entered the game in relief of Alburquerque and retired the next three batters ending the Indians threat and held the Tiger’s 4-3 lead.
Indians Nail Nathan
Joe Nathan entered the game in the ninth and after striking out two Indians it looked as if Nathan would strike out the side. But Cleveland benefited from some clutch hitting when David Murphy and Yan Gomes lined a pair of two-out singles. Then Micheal Bourne laced the Indians third consecutive single with two-outs to tie the game at 4 and send it to extra innings.
The Tigers retook the lead in top of the tenth on a Miguel Cabrera double that scored Ian Kinsler. But it was Phil Coke who played hero when he struck out three Indians in the bottom of the tenth for his first save of the year. Coke’s save secured a 5-4 victory for the Detroit Tigers.
Back On Top
The win extends the Detroit Tigers lead in the AL Central to 2 games after the Kansas City Royals lost at home 2-1 to the Seattle Mariners. The Tigers will go for the series sweep when they play the series finale against the Indians on Sunday at 1:08 pm. You can catch the game from Progressive Field on Fox Sports Detroit