Detroit Tigers Slug Their Way to a 13-5 Win: Just What the Doctor Ordered

Austin DrakeSenior Analyst IJuly 30, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 29:  Marcus Thames #33 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates his solo home run with Gerald Laird #8 during action against the Texas Rangers on July 29, 2009 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The game started with a leadoff home run by Curtis Granderson, and ended with Detroit recording 18 of its 27 outs via strikeout.

The leadoff home run was Grandy's 20th of his career; his third leadoff homer of the season and second in the series.

Not only did Granderson hit a home run to start things off, in his next at bat, in the second inning, he reached the bleachers again. This time it was with one on and one out, when he homered into the right field grandstands.

Miguel Cabrera, who has struggled as of late, to drive in some RBI, went 4-for-6, with a home run and a double with four runs batted. He could have had a six-hit night, easily, if not for a less-then-routine diving play in center by Marlon Byrd, and a backhand-jumping, Jeter-esque play by veteran, Omar Vizquel.

Marcus Thames went 2-for-3, with a home run and a double and then was removed from the game. Clete Thomas was his replacement and he had a single and made a few solid plays in right field.

The hitting was definitely there, Ryan Raburn had three singles and Placido Polanco had two doubles.

Not only did the Tigers bring the lumber to the Ballpark in Arlington, they brought some pitching too. But, what else do you expect with Justin Verlander on the mound?

This start for Verlander has to catapult him into Cy Young talks, especially if Roy Halladay is traded at some point.

Justin pitched seven strong innings, throwing 115 pitches, 80 for strikes. He struck out a career-high 13 batters and picked up his 15th quality start of the season.

His 13 strikeouts, moved his total on the season to 172, which leads the American League. It also places him second in the Majors, just 13 behind Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants.

When Verlander left, many Tigers fans trembled looking to the bullpen, but that's not a new feeling in Detroit.

Brandon Lyon came in and walked David Murphy on four pitches, he had struck out three times versus Verlander, and the nightmares came back for many Detroit fans.

Lyon then settled down, got the next three hitters out, striking out two.

The ninth inning rolled around and rookie, Casey Fien, took the mound. Fien made his Major League debut versus the Chicago White Sox last Sunday, with the bases loaded and Paul Konerko standing in the batters box. He worked out of it like a veteran.

Fien had no problem with the Rangers hitters in the ninth, striking out all three batters with fastballs, while trying to develop his slider in a eight run lead.

The Tigers won, they slugged their way to 13 runs, peppered the ball to the way of 19 hits, and in all of that...kept their slim distance in the American League Central Division.