With the Cleveland Indians losing to the Kansas City Royals, Sunday’s day game against the Twins posed a unique opportunity for the Tigers to extend their divisional lead over the Tribe. Too bad the team’s pitching couldn’t put Detroit in a position to win. Brad Penny started the game, but gave up seven earned runs in just five innings of work. Following him out of the bullpen was reliever David Pauley who gave up four runs in just two innings of work.
Detroit’s offense was no shining star either. The team as a whole left 16 guys on base and could never get the big hit they needed. Magglio Ordonez, Brandon Inge and Wilson Betemit all tied for the team lead in runners left on base, each of them with three. Not only did Detroit leave men on base, but they also hit into five double plays. When Ramon Santiago is the best hitter in the lineup, you know there is not much hope for the Tigers.
Tigers’ MVP: Ramon Santiago has been a very nice plug and play guy for much of the season. The last few weeks has seen him start more often and his bat has started to pickup. He continued his hot streak on Sunday going 4-4 with two RBis.
Tigers’ Goat(s): Brady Penny and David Pauley both had jobs to do, keep the Tigers in the game. Neither of them could accomplish that goal as they gave up a combined 12 hits and 11 runs. Worse than the hits themselves though, is the fact the two guys gave up three home runs.
Where They Are At: The loss bumps the Tigers down to 73-60, but with the Indians losing, the Tigers don’t give up any ground to Cleveland in the divisional race. All eyes will be on the Seattle Mariners game against the Chicago White Sox this afternoon to see if Chicago moves to within six games of the Tigers.
What’s Next: Tomorrow is the start of a four game set against the Kansas City Royals. It will feature Detroit starter Max Scherzer going up against Jeff Francis. While the Royals are nothing to scoff at, the four game set does give the Tigers another relatively easy series and another opportunity to extend their lead in the division.