Stop me if you’ve read this before: the Tigers got a strong outing from their starter and ended up needing a bunch of add-on runs late, but got enough to win 7-4 in spite of their bullpen and some shoddy defense.
Max Scherzer continued his fine start to the season, striking out 10 batters and allowing just two runs, the second of them a result of a fielding mistake. With his outing today, Scherzer becomes the second Tigers starter in franchise history to strike out at least seven in each of his first five starts – Mickey Lolich did it in 1970.
An Adam Dunn homer put Detroit behind early, but they weren’t behind for long as Austin Jackson tripled with two out and scored on a Nick Castellanos single in the second. The Tigers took the lead in the third, again with two out, after Ian Kinsler singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Miguel Cabrera single. Rajai Davis continued his surprisingly good start with his second homer of the season in the fifth.
The White Sox narrowed things in the sixth after Torii Hunter lost a Dayan Viciedo fly ball in the sun – or something – and landed for a triple. Viciedo would then score on an Alexei Ramirez sacrifice fly.
The Tigers got vital insurance in the seventh. Three straight singles loaded the bases and Cabrera, who finally looks like he’s waking up, hit a single up the middle to bring in two and make it 5-2 Tigers. The 8th got scary again as Joba Chamberlain struggled and got little help from his defense. After a double and two singles brought in a run, Kinsler botched a potential double play ball, getting only the out at second. This opened the door for De Aza to attempt a steal of second, which saw Bryan Holaday throw the ball into center field, allowing Dayan Viciedo to score from third. De Aza moved to third on a groundout, but Chamberlain struck out Tyler Flowers to preserve the lead. The Tigers got two more in the 8th on a Holaday single and a Davis double, effectively putting the game to bed.
Odd ending, though – Joe Nathan walked Marcus Semien, then struck out Jose Abreu. Semien tried to steal second on the last pitch to Abreu that was swung at and missed – the umpires ruled batter interference on Abreu against Holaday, and the game ended quite abruptly.
The Tigers now head off to Minnesota to play the Twins starting tomorrow night.