On a night where the Detroit Tigers honored Ivan Rodriguez, Alex Avila, the team's current catcher, rediscovered some much-needed offensive prowess and helped push the team to a 11-5 win over the Colorado Rockies.
The Tigers put pressure on Tyler Matzek early, scoring a run in the first inning off an RBI groundout by Miguel Cabrera. Colorado evened the score quick, however, with Drew Stubbs lacing a double to left field which scored Justin Morneau. The Rockies took a 2-1 lead on a groundout by Charlie Culberson, but Detroit evened things in the bottom of the inning with a single by Alex Avila.
Cabrera struck again, teeing off for his 244th home run as a Tiger to dead center field, giving Detroit the 3-2 lead. It was an estimated 445 foot shot. Colorado's pain continued in the fourth. Avila continued upon his hot night, stroking a double to left to make it 4-2. Then Suarez brought Avila home with a single. The fun continued for Detroit in the fifth, when Victor Martinez ripped a three run home run to left field to make it 8-2.
On the other hand, Rick Porcello was dealing. He struck out four Rockies in a row, and set down Colorado players quickly via ground ball outs. It was the thrd career game for Porcello with 10 or more strikeouts, with the last coming in 2013 against the Seattle Mariners. Detroit's surging offense backed their pitcher up with a few more runs. J.D. Martinez pounded a solo shot to make it 10-2, and Detroit would add another, scoring in every inning in a home game for the first time in franchise history since 1912.
In a mini-rally, Colorado scored three runs in the top of the ninth off Patrick McCoy to make the final line a bit less lopsided in the end, but the Tigers still ended up going home with a very comfortable 11-5 win.
Top Tiger: Alex Avila. Even though Porcello was lights out on the mound, the fact that the struggling Avila came through with three hits and two clutch RBI's was significant. "He took some good swings against a left handed starter. He's been working hard with Wally (Joyner) and it paid off," Ausmus said. It would be a big deal for the Tigers if Avila is able to get hot and continue the solid contact, especially to left field.
Bungling Bengal: Patrick McCoy. When McCoy entered, it was a 11-2 ballgame. When he departed, it was 11-4 and there still hadn't been an out made in the inning with runners on base. Afterwards, Brad Ausmus expressed frustration with the meltdown. "You don't want to get that many arms up, you hope to avoid that," he said regarding the bullpen's struggles. McCoy needs to pitch better whenever he's given the chance if he wants to hang around.
The Turning Point: Rick Porcello's three dominating innings. Porcello was untouchable most of the night outside of the first inning, but that was on display most of all in innings four through seven, where Porcello struck out nine batters and took control of the game. Detroit's offense was doing all of the hitting, but the fact that Porcello was missing bats and giving the Tigers innings was huge. "He was stronger late in the game," Ausmus said.
Stat Of The Game: 8, the number of innings Detroit scored in which was every allowable inning for a home team, the first time that had happened in team history since 1912. Rarely does that happen in baseball, so fans did enjoy a slice of history Saturday night. Interestingly enough, Ausmus admitted to not knowing it was even going on in the dugout as it happened.
Quote To Note: "Pretty much everybody hit." —Brad Ausmus. When Cabrera and Martinez both hit home runs, Avila drives two and Davis enjoys a fantastic night setting the table atop the order, there's plenty to be pleased about offensively. 16 hits and 11 runs later, Detroit had secured a big win, their second in as many days.
What's Next: Detroit will go for the sweep against Colorado, sending Anibal Sanchez (7-5) to the hill. He'll be opposed by Jorge De La Rosa (11-6). The game begins at 1:08 p.m.
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Tags: Alex Avila, Baseball, Brad Ausmus, Detroit, Detroit Tigers, J.D. Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, MLB, Patrick McCoy, Rick Porcello