The Detroit Tigers struggled at times during the month of August to produce runs, which led to the team letting their lead in the American League Central division slip away. Detroit currently trails the Kansas City Royals by a half game in the AL Central. Despite being unable to score at certain times in the month of August, the Tigers displayed great power in a offensive outburst in their first game in the month of September.
Detroit defeated division rival Cleveland Monday by a final score of 12-1. The Tigers hit a total of five home runs in the game, two of which came from reigning American League MVP Miguel Cabrera, who has been dealing with a sore right ankle for the past several weeks, and is not putting together the power numbers we are used to seeing from the slugger. Cabrera passed his home run total from last month in yesterdays game.
Victor Martinez continues to add to his career high in home runs as he belted his 28th long ball of the season yesterday. Martinez has been arguably the Tigers best offensive player this season batting .329 with 90 RBIs.
The Tigers hit around one of the better pitchers in the American League this season as well. Indians pitcher Corey Kluber lasted just 2 2/3 innings which marked his shortest outing of the season. He gave up five earned runs on seven hits and has lost his last three starts. Kluber, however, is still having a solid season and is a big reason why Cleveland still has a chance to make the playoffs, as they are 3 1/2 games back of the AL Central division lead. Kluber holds a 13-9 record with a 2.72 ERA and has 215 strikeouts.
For the Tigers, David Price took the mound needing to get back on track after what was possibly the worst outing of his career on August 27 against the New York Yankees. In that game Price lasted just two innings, giving up eight runs and 12 hits, nine of the hits came in a row against Price.
The former Cy Young winner responded by giving Detroit seven strong innings, allowing just one earned run, on eight hits and fanning eight batters.
The Tigers have suffered from a few big injuries as Anibal Sanchez is on the DL and it is unsure when, or if he will be back this season. Joakim Soria has been making progress, but is still on the DL but is expected back sooner than later.
It will be important for Detroit to continue getting good offensive production with injuries to their starting rotation and a shaky bullpen. The Tigers will rely heavy on their two big bats in the lineup, Cabrera and Martinez to make the push to take back their lead in the American League Central Division, a division that they have controlled the past two years.