What a wild game and series this turned out to be. Detroit had another horrible seventh inning allowing six runs to the Pirates, but managed to hold on for a one run win. Another series went in Detroit’s favor. They finished 15-3 in inter-league play and will miss having the pitcher bat. Zach Minor continued to pitch well picking up his fifth victory on the season. He went 5.2 innings giving up six hits and only two runs. Ledezma came on to retire the final out of the sixth before things got out of hand in the seventh.
The Tiger jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead. Carlos Guillen blasted a two run homer in the first inning to compliment a RBI double by Magglio Ordonez. Chris Shelton then led off the second with a deep 459 foot drive to center. The Pirates cut the lead in half in the sixth inning off Minor. Detroit responded with five runs in the seventh inning to take a 9-2 lead. Craig Monroe doubled in two runs in the inning. Polanco, Wilson and Shelton also added RBI hits in the inning.
Fernando Rodney struggled for the second outing in a row. He only retired one batter while giving up two hits, five runs, four earned runs with a walk and a strikeout. Roman Colon recorded the final two out of the seventh allowing the final run on one hit. Joel Zumaya struck out two in the eighth for his 20th hold of the year. Todd Jones pitched out of trouble in the ninth for his 22nd save in 25 chances. Jones loaded the bases on a double and two walks with only one out. He was able to get a strikeout and a ground out to finish off the Bucs.
With Zach Minor’s victory Detroit’s starting pitchers are 16-2 in the past month. Now that inter-league play is over the Tigers head out on the west coast for a series against the Oakland A’s. It will be a late night on Monday with the 10:05 start Eastern Time.
*** OEs 3 Stars of the Game ***
#3 Zach Minor – Win (5), 5.2 IP, 6 Hs, 2 Rs, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 2.68 ERA
#2 Carlos Guillen – 1-3 with 2 runs scored, 2 BBs, a HR and 2 RBI
#1 Chris Shelton – 3-5 with a run scored, a HR and 2 RBI