It seemed like it would never happen, but the Detroit Tigers finally won their first game of the season on Wednesday night. The Tigers beat the Boston Red Sox 7-2 as the bottom of their lineup provided the offensive punch the big guns seem unable to provide.
Marcus Thames, Edgar Renteria and Brandon Inge, the seven, eight and ninth hitters, each had two RBI and five of the team’s nine hits. Carlos Guillen, batting sixth, provided the Tigers seventh RBI with a solo shot in the ninth.
The Tigers top five batters, in contrast, went a combined three for 19 and stranded ten runners on base. The unsung bottom of the order saved the day and gave the Tigers the run production we’ve been expecting from the big guys.
Starter Jeremy Bonderman looked strong in his five inning performance and the middle relief held Boston to two hits through the eighth. The weak spot (nothing new) was Todd Jones’ ninth inning performance as he gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases before finally getting the last out. It was a typical Jones’ roller-coaster ride, but it proved good enough to preserve the Tigers precious first win.
Pudge Hits Milestone
One event worth noting is that Ivan Rodriguez, after an 0-15 slump, wrapped up the 2,500th hit of his big league career. Pudge looked relieved as he stood on first base and the ball was sent off to the Tigers’ dugout. Hopefully hitting the milestone will help take some pressure off of him and help his focus. It would give an incredible boost to the Tigers if Rodriguez could reacquire some of his preseason swagger.
Rejoice, Tigers fans. The losing streak is over. Let the 2008 season begin.