Detroit Tigers First Week of the Season
Tigers vs. White Sox
The Tigers opened the season against Central Division White Sox. Manager Brad Ausmus handed the ball to Veteran Justin Verlander to get the Tigers season underway. The White Sox went with Jose Quintana with hopes of getting off to a good start to the new season. Opening Day had to wait one day for the Chicago fans due to poor weather, but the two teams went at it on Tuesday to get the season going. The Tigers jumped out ahead early and that’s all superstar Verlander needed to get the Tigers the opening day 6 to 3 victory. Verlander was again sharp as always, pitching 6 1/3 innings, striking out ten and allowing only 6 hits. Ian Kinsler, Nick Castellanos and Jacoby Jones all contributed with home runs to give the Tigers plenty for their star pitcher. It was Jones’ first career home run.
After yet another rain out, the two teams matched up to play the series Finale in Chicago. The Tigers went with young Matthew Boyd, while the White Sox countered with James Shields. The White Sox jumped all over Boyd early as Boyd gave up 5 runs in only 2 1/3 innings of work. Chicago continued to beat up on the Tigers bullpen and went on to an 11 to 2 victory. Shields gave up one run in 5 1/3 innings of work and Geovany Soto was the star of the game knocking out 2 homers and Matt Davidson added a three run homer.
Tigers vs. Red Sox
The Tigers next test was a big 4 game series against the playoff contending Boston Red Sox. In the first game of the series, Boston’s Steven Wright dueled Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer of the Tigers. Fulmer pitched outstanding and threw 6 scoreless innings and giving up 4 hits and striking out 4 as the Tigers ran off to a 4 to 0 lead. It looked like the Tigers were going to run away with the game but Boston shut those hopes down by scoring 5 runs in the eighth inning with the big blow being a 3 run home run by Pablo Sandoval. But the Tigers came back in the bottom of the inning with the big hit by Mikie Mahtook tying the game and a bases loaded walk by Jacoby Jones leading the Tigers to the 6 to 5 win.
In the second game of the series Jordan Zimmerman was too much for Boston as he threw 6 innings and only giving up one run. He was dominant against Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez who gave up 4 runs in only 5 innings of work. Jose Iglesias and James McCann contributed by both hitting home runs and that was all the Tigers needed as reliever Justin Wilson came in the ninth to get his first save and giving Detroit a 4 to 1 victory.
Sunday’s’ game between the two clubs was close throughout the game until late in the game when Boston finally broke through. Boston brought out Cy Young award winner Rick Porcello against the Tigers young Daniel Norris. Porcello wasn’t as sharp as he normally is as he gave up 11 hits in only six innings of work. But he was good enough to keep Boston in the game as Boston broke the game open highlighted by catcher Sandy Leon’s big clutch hit knocking in 2 runners in the eighth. Reliever Matt Barnes got the win in relief as the Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon had a horrible outing and got the loss.
In the Series Finale, the teams threw out their aces hoping for a win. The White Sox had newly acquired Chris Sale go against the Tigers star Justin Verlander and the fans were not disappointed. Both pitchers were extremely sharp and Sale struck out ten Tigers hitters. Boston held a 1 to 0 lead until the 6th inning when Detroit’s Ian Kinsler slugged out a home run to tie the score at one a piece. The score stayed that way until the bottom of the eighth when third baseman Nick Castellanos of the Tigers singled to left, scoring left fielder Andrew Romine. Detroit went on to a 2 to 0 win as Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect 9th giving Justin Wilson his first win and Boston’s Chris Sale got his first loss despite a great pitching performance.