The Detroit Tigers have kicked off the second half of the season in style. After a nail-biter on Friday night, the boys from Motown put a spanking on the Mariners Saturday Night, 6-0. They were carried by a masterful pitching performance from All-Star Michael Lorenzen, who held the M's hitless through four. Kerry
Bonds Carpenter hit two bombs in his first two at-bats and that was all the Tigers needed to secure their second win out of the break.
Why it matters
The Tigers are still deciding (to an extent) whether they are buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. A quick start out of the gate will give President of Baseball Operations, Scott Harris, some head-scratching to do in the coming weeks. Winning this series right out of the break is a step in the right direction as the team sits five games back of the first place Twins.
By the numbers:
- Every Tiger in the lineup had at least one hit tonight, except for Andy Ibanez and Akil Baddoo
- Carpenter's two home runs given him 17 through his first 80 games, which is the second most in Tigers history.
- Lorenzen went 6.2 IP, gave up only two hits, walked an insane five batters, and struck out seven.
- Beau Brieske made his season debut tonight going 1.1 IP, 1 H, and 3 Ks.
- The Tigers had 5 2-out RBI tonight and were 3-4 with runners in scoring position, something that have struggled mightly with throughout the season.
What they're saying:
A.J. Hinch: “Collectively if we can continue to put good at-bats together, we're productive…he [Carpenter] has a plan, and nights like tonight are why we love him…he's staying disciplined to what he's seeing inside the strike zone and when he's hot like this, we're trying to get the lineup flipped back over to him.
Michael Lorenzen: “Confidence level is high [right now] and comes from being able to execute in certain counts.” He credited Eric Haase for helping him lock into a start that was a bit different for him since it was his first after his All-Star appearance.
The bottom line:
This lineup is a completely different lineup with Riley Greene and Kerry Carpenter in it. Don't get it wrong, this is still a team that is nine games below .500 and really isn't ready for a playoff appearance. But these last two nights have been fun and having fun watching our ball team is something the great fans in Detroit need to cap off their summer. The Tigers will look for a second-half opening series sweep of the Mariners tomorrow at 4:10 EST on Bally Sports Detroit.