DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 23: Denard Span #2 of the Minnesota Twins scores the winning run in the top of the tenth inning on a base hit from teammate Jamey Carroll #8 (not pictured) against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 23, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Twins win in extra innings 2-1 (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
I like the Tigers more than I like the White Sox, but I don't like them so much that I'd rather have my Twins lose just so Detroit has a better chance of catching Chicago. That's just not the way it works. And tonight's win, as great as it was, has bonus points because the winning run came off Jose Valverde.
Is it just me? I'm sure it's not. There's something very rewarding about pinning a loss on a guy who behaves like Valverde when he converts a save. I feel the same way about knocking around Fernando Rodney.
Anyway, P.J. Walters allowed super human Miguel Cabrera to drive in the Tigers' run in the first inning. Cabrera has now racked up 133 RBI this season, as well as 41 doubles. The scary thing is that his triple slash was better last season. The good news in all of this? Detroit wouldn't score for the next nine innings.
Walters settled in and allowed just three hits over his next five innings. Drew Smyly, meanwhile, shook off Jamey Carroll's first inning threat and had the Twins eating out of the palm of his hand until the fifth. He worked himself into a bases-loaded, nobody out situation, thanks in large part to his own thowing error. Still, he managed to get Ben Revere to ground into a force out at home for out number one before Al Alburquerque relieved him.
Alburquerque induced yet another groundout, this time off Carroll, but while Cabrera's relay home was perfect, Alex Avila sailed his throw high over first base in an attempt to turn an inning-ending double play. Pedro Florimon scored to tie it at one, but Revere was out at third as the Tigers got their double play the hard way.
Both sides then traded zeroes for a few innings, with Brian Duensing sucking up two innings before Jared Burton pitched a perfect ninth and Glen Perkins matched him with a perfect tenth. And then Carroll's line drive single into center field scoring Denard Span.
If the Tigers had won both of these games today they'd be sitting one full game in front of the White Sox for first place in the AL Central. Instead they're a game out. That's a rough two-game swing in one day.
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