Walkoff Woodward

Concerning Detroit Baseball
April 4, 2014

Tigers Break Out The Bats, Thrash Orioles

The back-to-back season opening walkoffs were fun, but the Detroit Tigers decided that they’d had enough of tight games and put up seventeen hits on the Baltimore Orioles for a 10-4 victory on a rainy day in Detroit.

A trio of homers were key, but the last of them will probably prove most memorable, as Miguel Cabrera capped a four-hit day with his 2,000th career hit – appropriately enough, a two-run home run.

The game was delayed twice by rain – first at the start by about ten minutes, and then a 34 minute delay in the Tigers’ half of the 4th. The Tigers were already leading when the second delay hit, but Buck Showalter chose to keep already laboring starter Miguel Gonzalez in, and Rajai Davis quickly made him regret the decision, hitting a three-run homer just over the fence in left. Torii Hunter followed two batters later with a solo homer – his first hit of the season – and what had been a tight 3-2 ballgame was suddenly a five run lead for the Tigers.

Anibal Sanchez had a shaky first, giving up two early runs, but recovered to keep Baltimore off the board through the fourth. The rain delay ended his day early, allowing Drew Smyly to pick up the win in relief with three scoreless frames.

Cabrera, as usual, was in the middle of everything, and his 2,000th hit was fitting. It was a line drive shot that found the seats in left, over the Detroit bullpen.

In other good signs, every Tigers starter bar Alex Avila got a hit. To complement Cabrera’s four hit day, Hunter and Austin Jackson both had three hits – Jackson in particular looked very impressive, delivering an opposite field double – and Ian Kinsler and Nick Castellanos had two hits a piece. The only real concerning part of the day was Joba Chamberlain’s ninth inning relief appearance, which saw him give up two runs and a series of loud line drive hits. While it’s very early in the season, the Tigers definitely would have liked Chamberlain to get off to a better start, particularly given the state of the rest of the bullpen.

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