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Detroit Tigers Rule
Following the ups and downs of Detroit Tigers baseball.
Following the ups and downs of Detroit Tigers baseball.

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          Games 27-32 of the 2015 Detroit Tigers season

Standing as of 05/11/15:

Kansas City Royals 20 11 .645
Detroit Tigers 19 13 .594 1.5
Minnesota Twins 18 14 .562 2.5
Chicago White Sox 12 16 .429 6.5
Cleveland Indians 11 19 .367 8.5

Injuries:  Bruce Rendon  15 day DL (Bicep Tendinitis)
                 Justin Verlander  15 Day DL (Right Tricep Strain)
                 Joe Nathan  15 Day DL (Out for Season Tommy John Surgery)
                 Alex Avila  15 Day DL (Loose Body in Left Knee)

Monday 5/4/15  Off Day

Tuesday 5/5/15  Detroit-2  Chicago-5
The White Sox needed a win after a lousy road trip, and Jeff Samardzija wanted the ball.  That last start in an empty ballpark had stayed with him for days, and he was ready to put it behind him.  Samardzija pitched seven effective innings, and Chicago snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Tigers on Tuesday night.  Back at home after a trying week, the White Sox chased Shane Greene in the third inning of their first win in nine days.  Two of their three games in Baltimore were postponed due to riots near Camden Yards, and they were swept in a four-game series at Minnesota.  Samardzija (2-2) allowed a run in each of the first two innings, and then pitched four-hit ball for the rest of his outing.  The right-hander struck out seven and walked one in his first game since he took the loss for a rocky five innings in an 8-2 loss to the Orioles last Wednesday that was closed to the public due to the unrest.  Alex Avila homered for Detroit, and Ian Kinsler had an RBI single.  Greene (3-2) was charged with five runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings.  Avila's two-out drive in the second went off the glove of a leaping Melky Cabrera at the wall in left, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead.  But Chicago went ahead to stay with four runs in the third.  With one out and a runner on second, Greene issued three consecutive walks to force home a run.  Avisail Garcia had a run-scoring fielder's choice, and Conor Gillaspie drove Greene's last pitch of the night into the gap in right-center for a two-run triple.  Detroit had runners on the corners for Miguel Cabrera in the fifth, but Samardzija fanned the feared slugger to end the inning.  He wiggled out of another jam in the seventh, shaking off a comebacker off his right arm in time to throw out Kinsler for the final out.  Zach Duke pitched the eighth and David Robertson finished for his fourth save in four chances.  It was Robertson's first save opportunity since he closed out Chicago's previous victory, a 5-3 win against Kansas City on April 26.  Greene walked four and struck out one. The right-hander has pitched just 11 innings over his last three starts.  

Wednesday 5/6/15  Detroit-6  Chicago-7
The White Sox hadn't hit a home run in nine games, a drought that had to end.  After Conor Gillaspie snapped the homerless streak, Melky Cabrera made sure his long ball was a difference-maker.  Cabrera hit a tying homer and drove in four runs, and Chicago scored four times in the eighth inning to rally past the Tigers 7-6 on Wednesday night.  Gillaspie homered early for Chicago, its first long ball since April 22. Cabrera tied the score at 6 with a three-run shot in the eighth.  Avsail Garcia’s two-out single drove in the go-ahead run on the sixth straight hit off reliever Joba Chamberlain.  All of them came after he retired the first two batters in the inning.  Zach Putnam (1-1) worked an inning to get the win and David Robertson earned his fifth save for the White Sox who improved to 8-3 at home.  Victor Martinez homered and knocked in four runs for the Tigers.  Chicago trailed 6-3 in the eighth after Martinez drove in his fourth run of the night with a single.  The White Sox kept grinding though, playing from behind all night.  But despite some missed chances early on, the White Sox piled on the offense in the eighth inning with those six straight hits, including Cabrera's home run.  

Thursday 5/7/15  Detroit-4  Chicago-1
Kyle Lobstein is content to let batters make contact - weak contact.  Lobstein allowed five hits in 7 2/3 innings, Miguel Cabrera scored twice and drove in a run and the Tigers beat the Sox 4-1 Thursday to salvage the finale of a three-game series.  Lobstein (3-2) threw 100 pitches and lasted at least seven innings for the third straight start.  The run he allowed was unearned, leaving him with a 3.00 ERA.  Lobstein's only jam came in the fourth inning, when Chicago tied the score and loaded the bases with no outs. Alexi Ramirez grounded sharply to third baseman Nick Castellanos, who stepped on the bag and threw home in time forAlex Avila to tag Jose Abreu.  Victor Martinez and Nick Castellanos each drove in a run and Detroit bounced back after blowing a 6-3 eighth-inning lead on Wednesday.  Joakim Soria struck out all four batters he faced for his 11th save.  Chicago starter Jose Quintana (1-3) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings with a season-high eight strikeouts.  

Friday 5/8/15  Kansas City-5  Detroit-6
The Tigers picked up a ninth-inning victory over their biggest rival Friday night.  Now they have to hope they didn't lose their best pitcher in the process.  David Price allowed five runs and a career-high 13 hits before leaving the game in the seventh inning with a fluke injury.  On a single by Alex Gordon that gave Kansas City a 5-4 lead, Price stepped on a discarded bat and tweaked his leg.  Detroit, though, tied the game with a run in the seventh and won it in the bottom of the ninth on a throwing error.  Anthony Gose led off the ninth with a double off reliever Yohan Pino, who had been called up earlier in the day.  On the next delivery, Ian Kinsler bunted down the third-base line, and although third baseman Christian Colon appeared to have a better angle, Pino (0-1) fielded the ball and threw wildly to first, allowing Gose to score the winning run.  Joakim Soria (2-0) earned the win with a scoreless ninth inning.  The Tigers scored four times in the fourth inning despite two high-risk decisions by third-base coach Dave Clark.  With the bases loaded and no outs, Andrew Romine singled to right, and Clark sent Nick Castellanos to the plate, even though he didn't appear to have a chance to score.  Royals catcher Salvador Perez, though, couldn't make a clean pickup of Paulo Orlando’s throw, then dropped the ball when he tagged Castellanos.  After Gose's infield single loaded the bases again, Kinsler hit a hard single to right and Clark sent Romine to the plate in another bad-looking move.  This time, Perez caught the ball too far up the first-base line, and Romine was able to slide around his tag, making it 4-0.  Perez made up for two of the runs in the fourth, hitting a long homer to left.  Christian Colon added an RBI single, and the Royals tied the game when Castellanos threw away Lorenzo Cain’s two-out grounder to third.  Detroit threatened in the fifth, putting runners on the corners with one out, but Perez dug Colon's throw out of the dirt and tagged Kinsler at the plate.  Ventura struck out J.D. Martinez, dropping him to 0 for 25, to end the inning.  The Royals went ahead on the play that cost them Price, but Detroit tied the game in the bottom of the inning on Victor Martinez’s RBI groundout.  

Saturday 5/9/15  Kansas City-6  Detroit-2
Alcides Escobar was ready for Anibal Sanchez to throw a fastball on the first pitch of the game.  Escobar hit a leadoff homer and made a sparkling catch of Miguel Cabrera’s line drive two innings later, and the Royals went on to a 6-2 victory over the Tigers on Saturday.  Kansas City moved back into first place in the AL Central after the Tigers had taken a half-game lead by beating the Royals in a sloppily played series opener Friday night.  Jeremy Guthrie (2-2) allowed two runs in 7 1/3 innings for the Royals.  Sanchez (2-4) allowed six runs and nine hits in six innings, his ERA rising to 5.44 on the young season.  Sanchez came into the game with a 1.40 ERA in eight career starts against Kansas City, but the Royals were aggressive early and scored all their runs in the first four innings.  Guthrie allowed fewer than three runs for the first time this year.  Escobar belted Sanchez's first offering well beyond the fence in left field for his first home run of the season.  Eric Hosmer added an RBI double that inning, and Kansas City scored two more runs in the second on RBI singles by Escobar and Hosmer.  It was 5-1 in the bottom of the third when Cabrera's liner was caught by Escobar - the shortstop went diving to his right to make the play.  Omar Infante brought another run home for the Royals with a fourth-inning single.  Detroit's second run came in the sixth. Victor Martinez led off with a double, and Nick Castellanos sent a two-out drive to right-center that Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson both tried to catch against the wall.  The ball hit the wall in between their gloves and caromed back for a triple that made it 6-2.  Guthrie allowed eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts in his longest outing of the season.  Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez had his first day off of the season.  Drew Butera replaced him behind the plate and went hitless.  Perez had played at least one out at catcher in 55 straight regular-season games, according to STATS. That was the longest streak since Bob Boone of the California Angels had a run of 65 games in 1987-88.  The Tigers outlasted the Royals by one game to win the AL Central last year, and there hasn't been much separating the teams in 2015 either.  The Royals and Tigers split a four-game series at Kansas City, and they've also split the first two of this three-game set.  

Sunday 5/10/15 Kansas City-2  Detroit-1 (10 Innings)
The Detroit hitters kept squaring around to bunt, and Greg Holland kept throwing pitches nowhere near his intended target.  Then the Tigers finally put a ball in play, and Holland got exactly what he needed.  Hernan Perez - batting only because Miguel Cabrera had been removed for a pinch runner the previous inning - grounded into a crucial double play in the 10th, and Holland escaped a bases-loaded, nobody-out jam to close out Kansas City's 2-1 victory over the Tigers early Monday.  The game was delayed 103 minutes by rain in the middle of the ninth.  Omar Infante’s sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th put the Royals ahead, but Holland allowed a single and two walks to start the bottom half.  Anthony Gose and Ian Kinsler both squared around to bunt but ended up taking walks as Holland struggled.  Perez then bounced into a 5-2-3 double play, but another walk to Victor Martinez loaded the bases again.  Holland then struck out Yoenis Cespedes for his sixth save in six chances.  Jason Frasor (1-0) got the win, working out of a bases-loaded jam of his own in the ninth.  Agel Nesbitt (0-1) took the loss.  The game was delayed after the top of the ninth, with the score tied at 1 and Luke Hochevar ready to take the mound for the Royals.  The tarp was put on the field, then removed, then put on again. Hochevar never ended up pitching.  The Tigers nearly won it in the ninth.  Frasor allowed a leadoff walk to Cabrera and a single by Martinez, but he eventually got James McCann to fly out with the bases loaded to end the inning.  Nesbitt began the 10th with a hit batter, and there was some question about whether the pitch actually grazed Alex Gordon’s jersey.  Nesbitt then threw a wild pitch, and after Gordon advanced to third on a groundout, Infante's fly ball made it 2-1.  The Royals took a 1-0 lead when Kendrys Morales and Gordon led off the second with consecutive doubles.  Detroit tied it in the third thanks to an ill-advised play by Infante, the second baseman.  Gose tried to bunt his way on with two outs, and Infante tried to flip the ball acrobatically behind his back to first.  It sailed wildly, and Gose ended up on second - the play was scored an infield single and an error.  After moving into scoring position, Gose was able to come home on Kinsler's single.  The Royals lead Detroit by 1½ games atop the AL Central.

Upcoming Games:
Monday 5/11/15 Off Day
Tuesday 5/12/15 vs. Minnesota
Wednesday 5/13/15 vs. Minnesota
Thursday 5/14/15 vs. Minnesota
Friday 5/15/15 at. St. Louis
Saturday 5/16/15 at. St. Louis
Sunday 5/17/15 at St. Louis

               Games 20-26 of the 2015 Detroit Tigers season

Standing as of 05/03/15:
Central       W      L       PCT       GB
Detroit       17      9      .654          -
Kansas City 16      9      .640      0.5
Minnesota      13      12      .520      3.5
Cleveland      9      15      .375      7.0
Chi White Sox       8      14      .364      7.0

Injuries:  Bruce Rendon  15 day DL (Bicep Tendinitis)
                 Justin Verlander  15 Day DL (Right Tricep Strain)
              Joe Nathan  15 Day DL (Out for Season Tommy John Surgery)

Monday 4/27/15  Detroit-5  Minnesota-4
David Price struck out seven in six innings, his fastball occasionally hitting 97 mph on the Target Field radar gun.  He walked off the mound with a 5-3 lead and ended the night the winner, but you never would've known that by his frustrated demeanor afterward.  Yoenis Cespedes had a homer, a double and three RBIs to back Price in the Tigers’ 5-4 victory over the Twins Monday night.  Jose Iglesias raised his average to .397 with a homer and a triple among his three hits and Price (2-1) gave up in six innings for the Tigers who have won three straight after a four-game losing skid. Joakim Soria picked up his eighth save in eight chances.  Danny Santana had two hits and an RBI for the Twins who had the tying run at second base with one out.  Tommy Milone (2-1) gave up five runs on eight hits in four innings.  The Tigers jumped on Milone early, with Iglesias hitting a solo homer and Cespedes adding a three-run shot for a quick 4-0 lead.  With that much of a cushion, Price didn't hesitate to attack the strike zone with that 97-mph fastball.  He was tagged for eight runs in 2 1/3 innings the last time out against the Yankees and, after an overpowering start, couldn't quite put away the pesky Twins.  Price's night ended on an RBI-double from light-hitting Jordan Schafer in the seventh that cut Detroit's lead to 5-3.  Alex Wilson, Joba Chamberlain and Soria were able to close the door, giving the Tigers the second-most wins in the majors behind the Mets (15-5).

Tuesday 4/28/15  Detroit-2  Minnesota-3
After failing to earn a spot in the rotation out of spring training, a healthy Mike Pelfrey looks like he won't be returning to the bullpen any time soon.  Pelfrey turned in his second consecutive strong start, Kurt Suzuki had two hits and the go-ahead single in the seventh inning and the Twins beat the Tigers 3-2 on Tuesday night.  Pelfrey (2-0) begrudgingly started the season in the bullpen after spending most of 2014 on the disabled list. He struck out seven and allowed one earned run on three hits over seven innings.  The big right-hander has won his last two starts while allowing only one earned run in 14 innings.  Eduardo Escobar clapped his hands and pumped his fists as he stood on second base after his seventh-inning double scored Eduardo Nunez to tie the game.  Suzuki followed with a single up the middle off Anibal Sanchez (1-3) to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead.  Detroit took a 2-1 lead after back-to-back two-out doubles by J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes in the fourth inning.  In 20 games against Minnesota, Cespedes is hitting .378 with 25 RBIs.  Until the seventh, it looked like two runs would be enough for Sanchez.  The final 16 Detroit hitters were retired by Pelfrey, former Tiger Casey Fien and closer Glen Perkins, who worked the ninth for his sixth save in as many chances.  Most importantly, Pelfrey feels healthy. He missed most of last season with various injuries after signing a two-year contract.  Shortstop Danny Santana added three hits and a RBI for the Twins. He also made an error that eventually led to Anthony Gose’s RBI single and a 1-0 Detroit lead in the third.

Wednesday 4/29/15  Detroit-10  Minnesota-7
Miguel Cabrera hit two of Detroit's four home runs, no-doubt drives that gave the star slugger a pair of satisfying jogs around the bases but James McCann had to hustle for his.  The inside-the-park shot and the first of his career put the rookie catcher, oh, a mere 393 homers behind Cabrera.  With a variety of sources and styles, the Tigers produced a powerful rally for a 10-7 victory Wednesday to take the series from the Twins.  McCann's two-run drive tied the game in the sixth inning for the Tigers, who trailed Phil Hughes and the Twins 7-3 after a seven-run burst against Shane Greene over the fourth and the fifth.  Hughes finished five innings before being removed because of a mild left hip flexor strain.  Cabrera and J.D. Martinez hit home runs in the sixth off reliever Tim Stauffer.  Aaron Thompson took over and with two out and one on, McCann's deep fly eluded center fielder Jordan Schafer and ricocheted sharply along the warning track.  By the time Oswaldo Arcia retreated from shallow right field to retrieve the ball, McCann was rounding third.  Tom Gorzelanny (1-1) got four outs for the victory, and Joakim Soria notched his ninth save in as many attempts with a scoreless final inning. Casey Fien was the bad-luck loser in the eighth.  He should've escaped without a run but Trevor Plouffe called for a harmless pop-up that bounced on the mound in front of five Twins.  Three batters later, Andrew Romine hit the go-ahead RBI single.  Joe Mauer drove in runs with a double and a single, Arcia hit a two-run homer and Plouffe had a three-run shot for the Twins, who also hit three bunt singles in their own diverse attack on Greene.  But then Hughes started to see double.  Five Tigers in a stretch of seven at-bats delivered two-base hits, including run-scoring doubles by Cabrera and McCann.  Hughes, still winless after five starts, finally pitched with a lead after Greene failed to finish the fifth for the second straight time.  Greene has allowed 18 hits and 15 runs over his last two turns, but with 17 hits the Tigers picked him up.  The upside to an inside-the-park shot serving as a player's first career home run is the elimination of potential negotiations with a fan who grabbed it in the seats.  In this case, the Tigers simply asked the umpire for the ball.  McCann said he'll keep it on a shelf next to his first career hit.  He also said his legs felt fine. His lungs, though, needed time to recover.  "It was maybe an out or two into the next inning, and I was still out of breath from running that far," McCann said.

Thursday 4/30/15  Detroit-1  Kansas City-8
While the Royals have been notorious slow starters in past seasons, they enter May in first place.  Danny Duffy pitched shutout ball into the eighth and Eric Hosmer hit a two-run homer as the Kansas City Royals beat the Tigers 8-1 on Thursday night.  The Royals lost 13 of 19 to Detroit last year to finish a game behind the Tigers, who have won the past four AL Central titles.  The Royals finished April with a 15-7 record, the second highest win total for the month in franchise history.  Duffy gave up his first run when Rajai Davis’ single scored Jose Iglesias, who led off the inning with a triple. Duffy (2-0) struck out seven and walked two, while allowing seven hits before being replaced by Jason Frasor with no outs in the eighth.  Hosmer, who also homered Wednesday at Cleveland, drove an Alfredo Simon pitch to center with Mike Moustakas aboard in the Royals' three-run third. Moustakas doubled home Alex Gordon with the first run.  The Royals batted around in a five-run fifth, which included a Gordon two-run single and Kendrys Morales and Salvador Perez hitting successive RBI doubles.  Christian Colon also drove in a run with a single.  Jarod Dyson had three singles as the Royals banged out 14 hits.  Every Royal starter collected at least one hit.  Simon (4-1) had allowed five runs and 22 hits in winning his first four starts, but the Royals knocked him out after 4 1/3 innings, giving up six runs on nine hits.  With the Tigers shifting to the right side with Moustakas at the plate in the first inning, he put down a bunt just inside the third base bag for an easy single.  Moustakas has four straight multi-hit games, raising his average to .356.  Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera walked in his first two plate-appearances, bringing his total to 15.

Friday 5/01/15  Detroit-1  Kansas City-4
Chris Young pitched five no-hit innings, but he knew he would not be permitted to go the distance Friday night.  Young, making his first start of the year, struck out nine and walked three before exiting with his pitch count reaching 81.  The Tigers didn't break through until the eighth in a 4-1 loss to the Royals.  Ned Yost removed Young after 81 pitches, 33 of them in the fourth inning.  Young had not thrown more than three innings and 50 pitches in his five relief appearances.  Young (2-0) walked the bases full with one out in the fourth, but recovered to strike out J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes on seven pitches to end the inning.  Ryan Madson pitched two perfect innings after Young was pulled and Kendrys Morales drove in three of the Royals' runs.  Nick Castellanos laced a clean single to left off right-hander Kelvin Herrera for Detroit’s first hit after a walk to Alex Avila in the eighth.  After Jose Iglesias reached on an infield single to load the bases, Avila scored on an Anthony Gose ground out for the lone Tigers run.  Herrera, however, walked Ian Kinsler to again load the bases but struck out Miguel Cabrera in a ten pitch battle where Cabrera fouled off four pitches with two strikes.  Herrera, who threw 30 pitches in the eighth, retired Victor Martinez on a fly ball to left field to end the inning.  The Tigers threatened again in the ninth with a Cespedes double and an Avila single off Wade Davis but Davis struck out Castellanos and retired Iglesias on a comebacker to earn his fifth save in as many chances.  The Royals' 3-4-5 hitters, Lorenzo Cain, Hosmer and Morales combined to go 7 for 12 with all four runs.  Left-hander Kyle Lobstein (2-2) took the loss, yielding four runs on 10 hits in 7 1/3 innings.
Saturday 5/02/15  Detroit-2  Kansas City-1
David Price lost his shutout bid in the ninth inning, but still had enough to finish off the Royals.  Price threw a five hitter for his 12th career complete game, the first by Detroit this season, in the Tigers' 2-1 victory over the Royals on Saturday night.  Price (3-1) limited the Royals to four singles until Lorenzo Cain’s  homer with two out in the ninth spoiled his bid for his second career shutout.  Price struck out three and walked none. His only shutout was April 24, 2012, against the L.A. Angels.  He threw 106 pitches, 75 for strikes, retiring 16 on three pitches or fewer.  The Royals had only one runner reach second base before Cain's home run and that was after Price committed a fielding error in the sixth inning.  He quickly got out of that by coaxing Mike Moustakas to ground into a double play.  Other than that and Cain's home run, Price was nearly flawless.  Anthony Gose, who was 1 for 10 on this trip, had three of the Tigers' seven hits, including a double in the fifth.  He scored on Ian Kinsler’s RBI single to make it 2-0.  Kinsler and Yoenis Cespedes each had two hits.  The Tigers took the lead in the third on Christian Colon’s throwing error. Rajai Davis, who led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a Gose single, score on the miscue.  Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez (2-3) returned to the rotation after serving a five-game suspension and gave up the two runs and five hits, while walking three and striking out four in six innings.  Price had a rough outing against the Yankees on April 22, when he gave up eight runs and 10 hits in 2 1/3 innings. Other than that, he has allowed eight runs and 24 hits over 37 2/3 innings (1.91 ERA) spanning five starts.  J.D. Martinez, who is on a 1-for-13 slide with eight strikeouts, was not in Tigers lineup for the first time.  

Sunday 5/03/15 Detroit-6  Kansas City-4
Anibal Sanchez could have thrown his fastball into a knothole on Sunday and the Royals are getting used to it too.  The Tigers' starter once again breezed through the American League champions Sunday, carrying a perfect game into the sixth inning.  Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer, Alex Avila also drove in three runs and the Tigers went on to a 6-4 victory for a split of the four-game series.  Detroit dropped the first two games of the series before squeaking out a 2-1 victory behind David Price’s masterpiece Saturday night.  Sanchez (2-3) then held the Royals without a baserunner until Paulo Orlando dribbled a single up the middle leading off the sixth inning.  Sanchez wound up allowing three runs and four hits over 7 1/3 innings.  Kansas City nearly bailed out starter Jeremy Guthrie (1-2) by scoring two runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth. But Tom Gorzelanny struck out Eric Hosmer to leave a runner aboard, and Joakim Soria shut down his former team in the ninth for his 10th save.  Guthrie didn't give them much of a chance on Sunday.  After giving up an RBI single to Avila in the second inning and loading the bases for him in the fourth, Avila hit a two-run single that ultimately cleared the bases when Orlando fumbled the ball.  Ian Kinsler added a single in the fifth before Cabrera hit his sixth homer this year.  Guthrie ended up allowing all six runs and 11 hits in six innings.  The poor outing came after a dazzling start to the series by Kansas City pitchers, who had allowed Detroit's potent offense to score just four runs total in the first three games.  Sanchez has struggled early this season, the Tigers had lost his last four starts, but he's owned the Royals his entire career.  He had been 5-2 with a 1.07 ERA in his previous seven starts against the Tigers' biggest rival for division supremacy.  With a crowd of 38,326 packed inside Kauffman Stadium, the third straight sellout, the right-hander calmly mowed through the Royals lineup for most of the afternoon.  Kansas City did not have its second baserunner until Sanchez walked Kendrys Morales with one out in the seventh.  The Royals went on to score on Erik Kratz’s sacrifice fly and former Tiger Omar Infante’s single.  They added runs in the eighth on a single by Morales and a Mike Moustakas groundout.  

Upcoming Games:
Monday 5/04/15 Off Day
Tuesday 5/05/15 at Chicago
Wednesday 5/06/15 at Chicago
Thursday 5/07/15 at Chicago
Friday 5/08/15 vs. Kansas City
Saturday 5/09/15 vs. Kansas City
Sunday 5/10/15 vs. Kansas City

Games 13-19 of the 2015 Detroit Tigers season 

Standing as of 04/26/15:
Detroit 13 6 .684 - - 5-5 W2 8-5 5-1
Kansas City 12 6 .667 0.5 +2.0 5-5 L2 7-2 5-4
Chi White Sox 8 9 .471 4.0 1.5 5-5 W2 6-3 2-6
Minnesota 7 10 .412 5.0 2.5 6-4 W1 4-2 3-8
Cleveland 6 11 .353 6.0 3.5 4-6 L2 1-4 5-7

Injuries:  Bruce Rendon  15 day DL (Bicep Tendinitis)
                 Justin Verlander  15 Day DL (Right Tricep Strain)
                 Joe Nathan  15 Day DL (Out for Season Tommy John Surgery)

Monday 4/20/15  NY Yankees-1  Detroit-2
On a night when the wind was gusting out to left field at Comerica Park, Alfredo Simon and CC Sabathia put on a pitchers' duel for most of Monday's series opener between the Tigers and Yankees.  Mark Teixeira’s home run to right field stood as the lone scoring until back-to-back RBI singles from J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes swung the game to Detroit in the seventh inning for a 2-1 Tigers victory.  The win improved the Tigers' record to 11-2, continuing their best start since 1984, and the best start in the Major Leagues this year.  Six of those wins have come in starts by Simon and Shane Greene, who went into the season as the perceived back end of Detroit's rotation.  Simon gave up two extra-base hits in a three-batter span of the second inning, including Teixeira's fourth homer of the year, but settled down from there on the strength of a splitter that dipped sharply for most of the night.  Sabathia faced the minimum 18 batters through six innings, thanks to three double plays and a caught stealing, before the Tigers rallied in the seventh.

 Tuesday 4/21/15  NY Yankees-5  Detroit-2
Nathan Eovaldi earned his first victory as a Yankee with seven-plus innings of one-run ball, silencing a mighty Tigers lineup before getting a boost by a Yankees outburst off Detroit's bullpen for a 5-2 victory Tuesday night at Comerica Park.  The win cooled off the Tigers from their best start since 1984, now 11-3. It also rewarded Eovaldi after no-decisions in his previous two starts.  He didn't get out of the sixth inning in those outings, but he pitched into the eighth inning Tuesday.  He retired the Tigers in order only once, but erased four baserunners with double plays, including two against Ian Kinsler following leadoff singles from speedy Anthony Gose.  Tigers starter Kyle Lobstein did his best to keep the game close before the Yankees broke it open with three runs in the seventh inning off Detroit's bullpen.  He was out of the game before the Tigers scored a run of support, a seventh-inning sacrifice fly by Yoenis Cespedes scoring J.D. Martinez following his one-out double.

Wednesday 4/22/15  NY Yankees-13  Detroit-4
David Price said he had forgotten his last meeting with the Yankees, who put up nine consecutive hits against him last August but the Yankees reminded him, sending 11 batters to the plate in a six-run opening inning and 21 batters over 2 1/3 innings in a 13-4 win over the Tigers on a chilly Wednesday night at Comerica Park.  On a night when the temperature sat at 38 degrees at first pitch, Price and Yankees starter Adam Warren combined for 10 runs and 87 pitches over a 52-minute opening inning.  While Warren settled down after four first-inning walks, the Yankees kept up the pressure on Price, scoring two runs on three straight two-out hits in the second inning, including back-to-back triples from Carlos Beltran and Chase Headly.  Price exited after two more hits in the third.  Didi Gregorius’ two run double in the fourth off Angel Nesbitt New York into double digits.

Thursday 4/23/15  NY Yankees-2  Detroit-1
The New York Yankees became the first team to cool off the Tigers, in part by lighting up Detroit's bullpen at Comerica Park.  In Thursday's series finale, it was the difference in the game, with Jacoby Ellsbury doubling and scoring off Tom Gorzelanny in the eighth inning for a 2-1 Yankees win.  With a 33-degree temperature at first pitch, both offenses were similarly cool for much of the day, combining for four hits over 6 1/3 innings against Anibal Sanchez and Mashiro Tanaka.  The Tigers converted a leadoff double from Anthony Gose into a Victor Martinez sacrifice fly in the first inning but never added on, giving the Yankees and Ellsbury a chance to take advantage.  Ellsbury seemingly moved at a different speed than the rest of the ballpark, stealing second base and bluffing his way into a game-tying balk from Sanchez in the sixth.  He took an aggressive turn around first base and got a double out of a liner into left-center field in front of Gose during the eighth.  Brett Gardner sacrificed Ellsbury to third base before Brian McCann hit a sharp ground ball that first baseman Miguel Cabrera couldn't corral with enough time to throw home.

Friday 4/24/15 Clevelnad-13  Detroit-1
After Shane Greene gave up one earned run and posted three wins in as many starts, the Cleveland Indians made it look easy beating the Tigers righty.  Brandon Moss homered twice as part of a seven RBI outburst, sending Greene to his first loss and the Tigers to their fourth in a row as the Indians rolled to a 13-1 win Friday night at Comerica Park.  The 12-run margin was the first double-digit victory for the Indians over the Tigers since April 17, 2008.  Detroit had won seven in a row against Cleveland, including three at Progressive Field two weeks ago.  It was their first victory over the Tigers since Danny Salazar’s shutout on September 3rd of last season.  
Saturday 4/25/15 Cleveland-1  Detroit-4
Alfredo Simon became the first Tigers pitcher to win his first four starts in a season since Frank Tanana in 1988.  Delivering 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball to help the Tigers end a four-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Indians on Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park.  On a day when Miguel Cabrera walked four times in a game for the first time in his career, Detroit didn't need much offensive output to put Simon ahead for good.  With a pair of run-scoring singles, Victor Martinez drove in three, one more run than the entire Tigers lineup produced over the previous two games combined.  Two of those runs were scored by Rajai Davis, who added an insurance tally in the fourth when he hit a two-out single, stole second base and scored on Ian Kinsler’s double.  Considering the Indians had to fill innings when Trevor Bauer fell ill shortly before game time, it could've been worse.  Considering Simon avoided the string of hits that knocked him out early in Cleveland two weeks ago, the run support was enough.  Jason Kipnis manufactured the Indians' lone run in the third inning with an infield single, stolen base and speedy turn around third base on a Michael Brantley single, the second of four hits for Brantley on the day.

Sunday 4/26/15 Cleveland-6  Detroit-8
Left-hander Kyle Lobstein logged seven solid innings, stymieing the Indians' lineup and leading the Tigers to an 8-6 victory on Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park.  Detroit took the series and improved to 5-1 against Cleveland this season.  The Tribe, which fell to 1-6 against left-handed starters this year, managed only three runs on six hits against Lobstein.  Lobstein struck out four and walked two in his second win over the Indians this year.  The lefty was supported by a three-hit day from slugger Miguel Cabrera who launched a two-run home run (his third on the season –all against Cleveland) in the sixth.  Ryan Raburn, Brandon Moss and Carlos Santana each had a run-scoring hit for the Indians, who did what they could to rally against Detroit's bullpen.  After scoring two in the eighth, David Murphy added a pinch-hit, leadoff home run for the Indians in the ninth. Right-hander Carlos Carrasco struggled through 4 1/3 innings for the Indians, allowing five runs on nine hits. Things went awry quickly for Carrasco, who allowed a leadoff triple to Rajai Davis to set up a two-run first inning for Detroit. Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez (two RBI’s) each drove in runs against the Tribe starter.

Upcoming Games:
Monday 4/27/15 at Minnesota
Tuesday 4/28/15 at Minnesota
Wednesday 4/29/15 at Minnesota
Thursday 4/30/15 at Kansas City
Friday 5/1/15 at Kansas City
Saturday 5/2/15 at Kansas City
Sunday 5/3/15 at Kansas City

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I have never been happy to see a player have season ending surgery but I'm not very upset about Nathan going down. 

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                             Games 1-12 of the 2015 Detroit Tigers season

Standing as of 04/19/15:
10 2 .833 - - 8-2 W1 5-1 5-1
Kansas City
9 3 .750 1.0 +2.0 7-3 W1 5-1 4-2
5 7 .417 5.0 2.0 5-5 W1 4-2 1-5
Chi White Sox
4 7 .364 5.5 2.5 4-6 L1 2-1 2-6
4 7 .364 5.5 2.5 4-6 L1 1-4 3-3

Injuries:  Bruce Rendon  15 day DL (Bicep Tendinitis)
                 Justin Verlander  15 Day DL (Right Tricep Strain)
                 Joe Nathan  15 Day DL (Right Flexor Strain)

Monday 4/6/15  Minnesota-0  Detroit-4
 David Price heard from teammates that Opening Day was like a holiday in Detroit. His 8 2/3 scoreless innings, helped by some heroics from his Tigers teammates, turned Monday afternoon's season opener at Comerica Park into an event in a 4-0 win over the Twins.  Price, the first Tiger other than Justin Verlander to start on Opening Day since 2007, nearly became the first Tiger to toss an Opening Day shutout since Mickey Lolich in 1970. He retired Minnesota's first 13 batters, helped by highlight catches from Yoenis Cespedes and Ian Kinsler.  Price also frequently fooled a lineup of Twins hitters that dogged Tigers pitching most of last season. Three of his five strikeouts were on fastballs that were called third strikes, one to Twins All-Star Joe Mauer and another to former teammate Torii Hunter.  On the flip side, the Tigers scored more runs in the third off Phil Hughes(three) than they put up in 14 innings against him last season (two), thanks to J.D. Martinez’s solo homer and Alex Avila’s two-run shot.  Mauer broke up Price's complete-game hopes with an infield single up the middle after Brian Dozier’s liner to left-center extended the game.  Joe Nathan picked up the save with a checked-swing strikeout of Hunter, who chased a slider just enough to draw the call from plate umpire Joe West.  The shutout was the first by the Tigers on Opening Day since Jason Johnson and three relievers combined for a 7-0 blanking of the Roy Halladay-backed Blue Jays in Toronto on April 5, 2004.

Wednesday 4/8/15  Minnesota-0  Detroit-11
If the 39-degree temperature at first pitch and damp, blustery conditions on Wednesday afternoon at Comerica Park weren't inhospitable enough for the Twins, the Tigers' bats were.  What began as a pitching duel between former Marlins teammates Anibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco turned one-sided with nine Tigers runs from the third through fifth innings en route to an 11-0 Detroit win.  It was the second straight shutout from the Tigers' pitching staff, the first American League team to pitch back-to-back shutouts to begin a season since the 1977 Angels, and the 14th team to do so in the last 100 years. The Nationals were the last Major League team in 2014.  Nolasco retired six of the first seven he faced, then just three of the next 12. The bottom of the order proved to be his undoing, setting the tone for the Tigers offense on the day.  Alex Avila drew leadoff walks in the third and fourth innings, then a one-out walk in the fifth.  Jose Iglesias had a career-high 4-for-4 performance.  The two combined for seven runs.  Add in James McCann’s pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth, and the bottom two hitters in the order reached base safely 10 times.  The top of the Tigers' order was the beneficiary.  Ian Kinsler drove in two with a two-run single in the third inning, then Anthony Gose chased Nolasco with a two-run triple in the fourth.  Sanchez retired his first six batters before giving up an Oswaldo Arcia single leading off the third.  The difference was that nothing blossomed from there.  It was the same for Joe Mauer’s one-out single in the fourth inning.  Even Jordan Schafer’s leadoff double in the sixth went unrewarded once Sanchez retired the top of the Twins' lineup in order.

Thursday 4/9/15  Minnesota-1  Detroit-7
The Tigers nearly became the second team in modern Major League history to open a season with three consecutive shutouts.  They settled for an American League record of 24 consecutive scoreless innings, and one of the more one-sided season-opening series sweeps, finishing off the Twins with a 7-1 win on a rainy Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.  Not only did Shane Greene allow just three singles over his first six innings, the Twins didn't reach a three-ball count against him until Brian Dozier’s full-count fly out to end the sixth.  The sinkerballer pounded the strike zone and avoided solid contact despite a fair number of fly balls.  A leadoff walk to Joe Mauer in the seventh and a Kennys Vargas one-out double finally put a blemish on the Tigers' pitching, albeit an unearned run thanks to Yoenis Cespedes’ fielding error.  After a three-hour, 36-minute rain delay, Greene was trying to work quickly.  It was stark contrast to the trouble the Twins gave the Tigers last season, beating Detroit 10 times in 19 games and nearly derailing their division hopes down the stretch.  Twins starter Kyle Gibson also worked ahead, but he struggled to finish off batters.  Gibson had nine of his final 16 batters in two-strike counts, but he retired just four of them, none in his fourth and final inning.  Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera both drew full-count walks, and though Gibson got a first-pitch double play from Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez chased him with a two-run homer to right, his second of the series.

Friday 4/10/15 Detroit-8  Cleveland-4
The Tigers came to Progressive Field on Friday and issued a reminder as to which American League Central club continues to hold the keys to the division.  Miguel Cabrera collected three hits, Nick Castellanos launched a two-run home run and Detroit spoiled the Indians' home opener with an 8-4 victory in front of a sold-out crowd.  Alfredo Simon, who was making his Detroit debut after coming over from the Reds in an offseason trade, gave up three runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings to earn the win.  He continued the Tigers' streak of stingy pitching by holding the Indians scoreless through the first five frames.  That stretched Detroit's season-opening streak to 32 innings without an earned run allowed, tying the modern Major League mark set by the 1963 Cardinals.  The Tigers used an early offensive onslaught to jump out to a 5-0 lead against right-hander Zach McAllister, which proved too much for the Indians to overcome.  McAllister, who earned a spot in the rotation with a strong showing during the spring, was chased from the contest after four-plus underwhelming innings.  

Saturday 4/11/15 Detroit-9  Cleveland-6
Indians ace Corey Kluber locked horns with Tigers ace David Price on Saturday afternoon, but neither Cy Young Award winner factored into the decision.  Detroit's breakthrough against Cleveland closer Cody Allen in the ninth inning proved to be the difference in a 9-6 victory over the Tribe at Progressive Field that stretched the Tigers' perfect start to 5-0.  Ian Kinsler who was 4-5 with two RBIs, came through with an RBI single and Yoenis Cespedes added a two-run double off Allen in the ninth to seal a series win for the Tigers.  Detroit's four-run showing against Cleveland's bullpen spoiled a solid start from Kluber and some unexpected heroics from Tribe right fielder Jerry Sands (two doubles, four RBIs).  Kluber, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner struck out 10, scattered seven hits and gave up two runs (both in the first) in his 6 1/3 innings for the Tribe. In 5 2/3 innings, Price was charged with three runs (none earned) on four hits, ending with six strikeouts and three walks in a no-decision.

Sunday 4/12/15 Detroit-8  Cleveland-5
Miguel Cabrera has tormented the Tribe throughout his career and that did not change during Cleveland's home-opening set against the rival Tigers.  Cabrera launched two home runs, collected four hits and powered Detroit to an 8-5 victory over the Indians on Sunday at Progressive Field.  Cabrera's four-hit, four-RBI outpouring capped off an 11-for-14 showing in the three-game sweep of the Tribe, as the Tigers improved to 6-0 on the season.  That marks the most hits the Tigers' first baseman has produced in a three-game series in his career.  In the process, Cabrera's season average skyrocketed to .520 from .182 over the past three games.  Carlos Santana delivered an RBI single in the first inning and former Tiger, Ryan Raburn contributed a two-run double in the third, but that was not enough to erase the damage done by Indians starter TJ House (1 1/3 innings).  That was all the damage Cleveland managed against Tigers lefty Kyle Lobstein in his five innings of work.  Lob stein got the start after it was announced that Justin Erlanger would be going on the 15 DL for the first time in his career.

Monday 4/13/15 Detroit-4  Pittsburgh-5
Gerrit Cole pitched one-hit ball into the seventh inning and Josh Harrison, Pedro Alvarez and pinch-hitter Corey Hart homered, and the Pirates held on for a 5-4 win over the previously undefeated Tigers in Pittsburgh's home opener Monday afternoon.  Anibal Sanchez made 101 pitches without giving up a run in his first start Wednesday, but his first pitch this time was deposited in the right-center seats by Harrison to jump-start the Bucs in front of 39,933, a record regular-season crowd in PNC Park.  Detroit chased Cole by loading the bases with none out to open the seventh, but Jared Hughes came on to induce Nick Castellanos into a first-pitch double play and got Alex Avila on a popup to retire the side.  Cole allowed just one run in six-plus innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out eight.  Pirates closer Mark Melancon entered a 5-1 game in a non-save situation in the ninth and surrendered three runs, two on a homer by J.D. Martinez, before closing it out.

Tuesday 4/14/15 Detroit-2  Pittsburgh-0
Right-hander Shane Greene fired eight innings of three-hit ball and Rajai Davis broke a scoreless tie in the seventh inning as the Tigers beat the Pirates, 2-0, at PNC Park on Tuesday night.  Pirates starter A.J. Burnett received a warm welcome from the crowd of 31,755 in his return to Pittsburgh.  The 38-year-old right-hander sailed through six innings before running into trouble in the seventh, issuing two one-out walks that quickly came back to haunt him.  Davis came to the plate with two on and two outs in the seventh, slapping a 3-1 pitch from Burnett into center field to bring home catcher Alex Avila.  Burnett then left the game, having given up one run on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings.  The Tigers added a run in the ninth on Ian Kinsler's RBI single.

Wednesday 4/15/15 Detroit-1  Pittsburgh-0
Right-hander Alfredo Simon threw eight shutout innings and center fielder Rajai Davis swatted the go-ahead hit for the second consecutive night as the Tigers beat the Pirates, 1-0, on Wednesday at PNC Park.  A night after right-hander Shane Greene efficiently shut down the Pirates for eight innings, Simon did the same, allowing two hits and striking out two as he breezed through the Bucs' lineup on 108 pitches.  Pittsburgh, meanwhile, saw another solid start go to waste, as left-hander Francisco Liriano gave up four hits and struck out seven over six innings of work.  But Liriano served up a leadoff homer to Davis in the sixth, and that was all the run support Simon required.  The Tigers have won eight of their first nine games for the first time since 1984, when they started off 9-0 en route to a World Series championship. Detroit has outscored its opponents, 54-21, so far this season.

Thursday 4/16/15 Off Day

Friday 4/17/15 White Sox-1  Detroit-2
A true pitchers' duel between Jeff Samardzjia and David Price ended with a 2-1 Tigers victory over the White Sox when Jose Iglesias delivered a walk-off single against Chicago reliever Zach Duke at Comerica Park on Friday afternoon.  Nick Castellanos started the winning rally when Avisail Garcia couldn't hang on to Castellanos' sinking liner to right.  Garcia fired the ball in to second as Castellanos tried to stretch his single into a double, but shortstop Alexei Ramirez missed the tag although the throw beat Castellanos to the bag.  Alex Avila dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move pinch-runner Andrew Romine over to third, and then Iglesias laced a single into right-center field past the drawn-in infield.  Price worked eight innings and threw 108 pitches, striking out nine and walking two.  He yielded just one run on four hits and finished strong by fanning Geovany Soto, Emilio Bonifacio and Melky Cabrera in the eighth.  Samardzija had his best game as a member of the White Sox, working eight innings and allowing one run on eight hits. Samardzija pitched out of jams in the first, third and fifth, and he then struck out Miguel Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes to end the eighth.  Both starters gave up their lone run via the long ball.  Garcia hit his first home run of the season on the first pitch in the second, while Cespedes hit his first with one out in the fourth.  
Saturday 4/18/15 White Sox-12  Detroit-3
Take Chris Sale and mix in the White Sox biggest offensive output of the 2015 season by a long shot and what do you have?  A 12-3 victory for the South Siders on Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park and a long day for the Tigers and starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez.  The trio of Melky Cabrera, Jose Abreu and Adam LaRoche commbined to go 10-for-16 with three doubles, two homers, 10 RBIs and six runs scored.  Cabrera tied a career-high with four hits, done for the 13th time overall by the left fielder, while LaRoche and Abreu went deep.  Abreu launched his second career grand slam to key a seven-run fourth and end the afternoon for Sanchez.  Sanchez allowed nine runs on nine hits over 3 1/3 innings, striking out two and walking two. With the immense run support from a team that scored 25 runs in its first nine games, Sale went into cruise control.  The White Sox have scored 18 of their 37 runs during Sale's two starts.

Sunday 4/19/15 White Sox-1  Detroit-9
Yoenis Cespedes’ power stroke all but ensured Jose Quintana would not be getting a decision in Sunday's 9-1 victory for the Tigers over the White Sox at Comerica Park.  But it was not the one sought for by the man with a Major League-high 40 no-decisions since 2012.  Cespedes hit two home runs, including a grand slam in the first inning, and drove in a career-high six to spark a Tigers attack that featured every starter getting on base at least once.  Cespedes is now 6-for-8 lifetime against Quintana, with four homers and nine RBIs.  Detroit left little doubt about its series victory by pounding out 10 hits and scoring nine runs over four-plus innings against Quintana.  That runs allowed total represents a career high for Chicago's No. 3 starter, and the hits total stands as just the fifth time in his career he has allowed double-digits in a game.  That output was more than enough for Shane Greene, who improved to 3-0 by allowing one earned run over seven innings.  That run allowed in the sixth inning ended Greene's streak of 21 innings without an earned run to start the season.  He struck out three and walked one, giving up five hits one day after the White Sox knocked out 17 hits and scored 12 runs.

Upcoming Games:
Monday 4/20/15 vs. NY Yankees
Tuesday 4/21/15 vs. NY Yankees
Wednesday 4/22/15 vs. NY Yankees
Thursday 4/23/15 vs. NY Yankees
Friday 4/24/15 vs. Cleveland
Saturday 4/25/15 vs. Cleveland
Sunday 4/26/15 vs. Cleveland

Tigers win!!   4-0 shutout against the Twins.  David Price has a strong outing.  I will do a weekly update of the games every Sunday or Monday for here on out.  GO TIGERS!!

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