After a pair of close games on the west coast, the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers were due for a game with some offensive fireworks. Nobody could have envisioned a 14-5 Detroit victory considering how things started early on.
Once again, the Tigers were unable to prevent another big inning from taking place immediately. After a two run double by Adrian Gonzalez, a single by Matt Kemp and home run by Juan Uribe, the Tigers trailed 5-0. Going against Hyun-Jin Ryu, that didn't look to be good news.
Shockingly, a response would come immediately from Detroit. The team put together eight hits in the bottom of the second to tie the game at five. Collecting RBI's were Alex Avila, Rajai Davis, Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera. Detroit remained on top of Ryu, and chased him in the third after a single by Davis and a sacrifice fly from Austin Jackson made it 7-5.
The hits would keep on coming against Wright in the fourth, Another big inning chased him, as Detroit scored four runs in the fourth making the spread 11-5. Castellanos picked up an RBI, as did Avila, Davis and Eugenio Suarez. Detroit added one more run in the fifth and two more in the seventh for the 14-5 spread, which was more than enough for the pitching staff.
Following the messy first, Verlander got things back on the rails, only allowing one more hit the rest of the way through six innings pitched. Al Alburquerque took over, getting Detroit through the seventh, Ian Krol the eighth and Chad Smith the ninth, putting away the blowout triumph.
Top Tiger: Detroit's offense. Instead of handing out the award to a singular player, give the honors to Detroit's entire offense tonight. "We swung the bats well," Brad Ausmus said. "we hit some balls hard that found spots to go, we hit some balls not so hard that found spots to go." Detroit pounded out 14 runs and 20 hits, both of which were season highs. Better yet, the team accomplished the feat with Victor Martinez still on the sidelines
Bungling Bengal: Justin Verlander. Any other night, five runs in the first inning would be enough to doom a starter, but thankfully for Detroit, Verlander's offense was there to back him up. "Justin had the bad first inning, but he walks away from this game with a good taste in his mouth so to speak." Ausmus said. "(The win) gives him a positive frame of mind when he leaves the park tonight." Be that as it may, Verlander didn't pitch well early, and continues to look human at times. He needs to find a way to rediscover some consistency, because the hiccups, even for one inning, have a way of hurting the team.
The Turning Point: Torii Hunter's double. Had Hunter been thrown out by Puig on a close play at second, the game would likely have been much different. "That's how replay has changed the game. It probably changes the entire inning, really," Ausmus said. "It just goes to show you, the old butterfly effect, if one little thing changes in the game, it can change the rest of the game, or in this case, the rest of the inning." There's no doubt that the play helped ignite the bats, as the Tigers used the overturn to jump start a clutch five run rally and never looked back on the scoreboard.
Play Of The Game: Yasiel Puig nearly throws out Torii Hunter. Defensively, Puig is so instinctual that he nearly tossed out Hunter on a ball which banged off the wall hard. Puig wheeled around and threw on the fly to nearly nab Hunter at second base. Puig also showcased his throwing arm another time, throwing a ball into third base without so much as a crow hop. "He plays defense with reckless abandon out there and he's got a cannon for an arm, we're well aware of that," Ausmus said of Puig's electric effort.
Stat Of The Game: 2, the number of times the Tigers batted around in the game. That's a hard enough feat to accomplish one time during a nine inning affair, but Detroit did it twice tonight early in the game, against the usually tough Ryu to boot. That helped the offense get rolling and aided in a breakout performance after a few days of struggles.
Quote To Note: "I figured he was exhausted after hitting a triple." —Brad Ausmus. Miguel Cabrera left the game late, but it wasn't because of injury. Ausmus simply lifted Cabrera because of the lopsided score and the time of the game. Apparently, he also lifted him to let him catch his breath a bit after legging out a rare triple. Cabrera, the doubles king, rarely triples, but he did on this night.
What's Next: The Tigers finish off the two game series and the season series with Los Angeles tomorrow afternoon with Max Scherzer (10-3) going against Zack Greinke (11-4). The game will begin at 1:08 p.m.
Max DeMara is the editor of @tigers_101. Follow the site there on Twitter, or like it on Facebook to connect with him.
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