By Matt Harding
The first game of the weekend series against the Minnesota Twins began with a 51 minute rain delay. The first inning seemed to go by almost as slowly. Brad Penny threw 44 pitches, gave up four runs on four hits. That took only about 20 minutes.
After going 1-2-3 in the first, the Tigers came back with a vengeance in the second. After singles from Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, Alex Avila blasted a 358 ft. home run to the opposite field. To this point, the Tigers were still down 4-3.
Alex Avila in the batter's box
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine
In the fourth, still down by a run, the Tigs started clawing at the deficit. Avila, who led off, was hit by a pitch. Following a flyout off the bat of Jhonny Peralta, Wilson Betemit tripled down the line in right, scoring Avila. The next batter, Ramon Santiago, hit a home run into the second row in right field. The Tigers now held the lead by a score of 6-4. A lead-off home run in the fifth off the bat of Delmon Young made the score 7-4.
After scoreless six and seventh innings, the Tigers scored yet again in the eighth. After doubling and going to third on a passed ball, Avila scored his 100th run of the season, making it 8-4.
The Tigers brought in closer Jose Valverde in the ninth, even though it wasn't a save situation. He, however, did his job nonetheless.
FINAL SCORE at Comerica Park: 8-4.
Brad Penny went five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits; he also walked three and struck out one.