The Tigers performance with runners in scoring position of late has caused much consternation and understandably so. Sometime the failures have just been failures, but during this recent stretch a significant portion was just bad luck. It’s only fitting then that Ramon Santiago plated the go-ahead run with an “excuse-me” flop shot to left.
Brian Fuentes and the Angels were 1 strike away from escaping the 9th inning with the game tied when Santiago reached down and somehow lifted the ball into shallow left field. A good jump and secondary lead by Gerald Laird let him reach home just before the tag.
Of course this was all possible by some clutchness by Miguel Cabrera as well who crushed the 9th pitch of his lead-off at-bat to tie the game in the first place. It was also possible because Jeremy Bonderman, Eddie Bonine, and Phil Coke held the Angels scoreless after that 3 run first inning.
Bonderman had no rhythm and limited control in the first inning. But he settled in and went 6 innings and picked up a quality start. He pitched around 2 errors (one of his own) and held the Angels to 4 hits.
- It’s a hot button issue, so we’ll mention that the Tigers only stranded 5 and went 2 for 4 with RISP. Three of those LOB occurred when Johnny Damon was called out and then thrown out after a borderline 3rd strike. Don Kelly also lined into a bad luck double play.
- Speaking of Kelly, he did have an error. He also made a nice diving stop. Oh yeah, and he hit his first career homer. It was also the first non-Venezuelan Tigers homer of the year.
- Austin Jackson with 3 more strike outs. This is becoming epic.
- Yes, Gerald Laird was used as a pinch hitter. Yes it worked out. Go figure.