DETROIT —- What could be better than being in the middle of downtown, finding your seat in Comerica Park with a couple of hot dogs and a cold liquid refreshing drink, watching the Detroit Tigers and Justin Verlander?
A win would be a nice way to enjoy the fireworks after the game.
The Tigers did not disappoint the full house at Comerica as they defeated the Cleveland Indians 7-5, to start the three-game weekend series.
Starting the game for the Detroit Tigers their pitching ace of the staff, Verlander facing the Cleveland Indians and Ubaldo Jimenez under overcast sky Friday night.
Tigers’ pitching coach Jeff Jones made some suggestions for Verlander, like slowing him down out on the mound. Verlander did say that he was going to address some issues that he thought that he had and he was going to be in a hurry about making the adjustment.
Detroit made some noise in the second inning by sending nine batters to the plate, scoring three runs and forced Jimenez to throw 42 pitches before retiring the Tigers.
Tigers’ designated hitter Victor Martinez got the thunder rolling in the second inning by hitting his fifth home run of the season.
“I am feeling pretty good and making good contact,” Martinez said. “He has a pretty good cutter and I just wanted to get the head ahead and just make contact.”
“He is hitting like the Victor that we know!” Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland said after the game.
Detroit’s shortstop, Jhonny Peralta kept the hitting parade going by getting a walk, brining up Tigers’ catcher Brayan Pena. He hit a ground ball that Jimenez fielded but his throw to second base took forever to reach the target and so the Indians could only get one out.
Utility infielder Ramon Santiago hit a bouncing ball to first base man Nick Swisher and threw the ball off of the bag at second. Avisail Garcia walked and loaded up the bases for Andy Dirks.
Dirks got ahead Jimenez on the pitch count but could not advance the runners when he took a swing at a fastball and missed.
Tigers’ right fielder Torii Hunter hit an infield single scoring Pena, facing Jimenez for the second time Miguel Cabrera and drew a walk and getting his 67th RBI of the season.
The inning came to a merciful end for Jimenez when he got Prince Fielder to lift a fly ball to left field.
The Tigers bats continue to deliver the lighting to Jimenez, the Tigers scored two more runs in the fourth inning ending the stormy night for Jimenez.
Cleveland Indians’ manager Terry Franconia could not weather the storm any longer and unable to watch, he replaced Jimenez by bringing in Matt Albers from the bullpen.
Jimenez only lasted three innings throwing 85 pitches giving up seven hit and five earned runs before getting to the clubhouse for the night.
Leyland said that he does not worry too much about the game when Verlander is on the mound.
In the fifth inning, Verlander sailed into stormy seas, he gave up three runs to the Indians, causing Leyland to blow a little extra hard on his cup of coffee.
Mark Reynolds hit a single over the head of Peralta and into left field. Verlander got Indians designated hitter Jason Giambi fly out to Dirks.
Mike Aviles singled into right field getting Reynolds to second base and like the coffee that Leyland was trying to enjoy the water started to get a little warm for Verlander.
Drew Stubbs hit a slow roller to Cabrera, he made the play but the ball was rolling too slow for a throw and the Indians loaded the bases against Verlander and the Tigers.
The Indians scored their first run against Verlander when Michael Bourn hit a single in left field scoring Reynolds.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis hit a long fly ball into right field Hunter made a valiant effort but the ball came off of the glove and rolled into the corner and Kipnis double scored two runs for the Indians.
Verlander took a few deep breaths and refocused and got Swisher to hit a pop up to Peralta and then got Michael Brantley to hit a fly ball to center field ending the Indians’ threat.
Verlander left after the seventh inning, giving up three runs, working his 13th quality start out of 14, striking out six Indians and recording his eighth victory of the season.
“For the most part a pretty good outing,” Verlander said. “The guys gave me a cushion.”
Leyland used Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde from the bullpen to close out the game.
Benoit did not have no trouble with Indians in the eighth inning getting the Indians in order but Valverde provided the fireworks early for the Tiger fans as he gave up two ninth inning home runs to Giambi and to Stubbs before he could get Swisher to lift a pop up to Santiago ending the game.
Good food, cool evening and spectacular fireworks is reasons to celebrate a great Friday night in the city of Detroit and of course a Tiger victory help make the everything a little better.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.