Late inning home runs from Brennan Boesch and Carlos Guillen propelled the Tigers to a 3-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Father’s Sunday. The win improved the Tigers to 8-1 on the homestand, as they prepare to head east on Tuesday.
After laboring through the first five innings, Max Scherzer was able to buckle down and turn in a gem on the mound. He allowed a first inning run, but that was it. Scherzer’s line was 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, and 8 Ks. The line is a little deceiving, as Scherzer’s pitch count was at 50 in the second inning. He slowed the pace to a crawl in the 5th, often times struggling to put hitters away despite being ahead 0-2 frequently.
Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy had himself a day as well. From the end of the second through the sixth inning, Kennedy retired 13 straight Tigers. But in the seventh, Miguel Cabrera singled sharply to right only to be followed by a Boesch Bomb near the Pepsi Porch in right. With the Tigers leading 2-1, Guillen followed Boesch with a solo jack of his own for insurance purposes.
Joel Zumaya pitched yet another clean 8th inning, striking out one and inducing two flyouts.
Zumaya was followed by the reliable Papa Grande Jose Valverde, who pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 16th save and the Tigers 38th victory.
Sophomore Rick Porcello was sent to Triple-A Toledo today. The Tigers won’t need a fifth starter until June 29th, but two possibilites include Eddie Bonine and Enrique Gonzalez…A day after it was reported in the Arizona Republic that Miguel Montero didn’t like Jose Valverde’s antics, the two faced off in the ninth inning this afternoon. Montero grounded out weakly to first base, and the at-bat ended wtihout incident.
The Minnesota Twins defeated Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizen’s Bank Park 4-1 today. The Tigers remain 1.5 games behind the Twins for first place in the AL Central.
The Tigers will rest tomorrow and head to Long Island on Tuesday to face the second place New York Mets. Scheduled starters are Jonathan Niese and Justin Verlander.