The Tigers are now 8-3, 2 games up on Cleveland (Cleveland?) in the AL Central. The Tigers are also still undefeated in night games, and Ryan Raburn and Miguel Cabrera both have 1-game hitting streaks.
Drew Smyly was again effective, and it was needed–Royals starter Bruce Chen once again shut down the Tiger hitters. The only run Smyly gave up was in the 3rd, when he joined Adam Wilk as victim of the Tiger rookie pitcher curse, and took a line drive by Escobar right between the shoulder-blades and then bounced the ball by first base. Smyly was fine, but said his back was tightening up after the game.
Tonight is Max Scherzer’s private rubber game: he has had one start as Bad Max, and one as Mad Max. The Royals will send out ex-Giant Jonathan Sanchez, who is known for being effectively wild, which should be a good test of patience for Detroit hitters. The only Tiger Sanchez has a real history with is Prince Fielder, and the results are encouraging: 5-14 with 4 BB, for a .550 OBP.
Tonight marks the return of the Bottom Of the Order Bombers lineup, with Inge/Laird batting 8-9. The Tigers are undefeated (2-0) when Inge starts, and undefeated (2-0) when Laird starts.
Today’s Player of the Pregame: Andy Dirk
Dirks will be a fascinating study as he sits in the dugout watching Ryan Raburn take over for Delmon Young in LF, wondering what he has to do before he gets to wear a glove.
Today’s Undefeated-at-Night Lineup: