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Tigers come back from three down in ninth to make it 12 in a row

Sep 14, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT

Jose Valverde AP

As Hawk Harrelson would say if he weren’t limited to moans and groans at the moment, the Tigers have owned the White Sox this year.  They rallied from three runs down in the ninth and prevailed 6-5 in the 10th today, giving them a 12th straight victory.

It’s the longest winning streak by a team this year and the longest for the Tigers since 1934.  They finished the season series with the White Sox winning 13 out of 18 games.

Alex Avila, who didn’t start, and Carlos Guillen, who hadn’t started in 11 days, were the heroes in this one.  Serving as a pinch-hitter for just the second time this year, Avila hit a game-tying two-run homer off Sergio Santos in the ninth.  Guillen homered in the second and delivered the go-ahead single in the 10th as part of a 3-for-5 days.

The comeback denied Dylan Axelrod a victory in his first major league start.  He left with a 5-2 lead after striking out eight in six innings.  Tigers starter Brad Penny gave up all five White Sox runs.  Four of them were unearned, but it was Penny’s own error that preceded the runs.

Avila’s homer was his 19th and gave him 77 RBI on the season.  Miguel Cabrera is the second Tiger expected to get some down-ballot MVP votes this year, but I’m not sure Avila isn’t more deserving.  He’s played in 128 games this season and has a .919 OPS.  The only primary catcher within even 100 points of OPS of him is Atlanta’s Brian McCann at .841.

  1. proudlycanadian - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    Lions and Tigers and beers oh my! Detroit fans have to be dreaming big.

    • phillyphever - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:02 PM

      You mean Lions and Tigers and Red Wings right?

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:43 PM

        I could not use Bears and beers only requires a single letter change. Detroit is also a blue collar kind of place.

  2. APBA Guy - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    How about some love for the manager: two pinch hitters (Raburn and Avila) two home runs. That’s hard to do.

  3. craggt - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    I agree with the beers, michigan has some great breweries. Bells, founders, dark horse… Now I’m getting thirsty

  4. scatterbrian - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    How on Earth can Verlander start 12 games in a row? I mean, he’s the sole reason the Tigers are good, right?

    • brianc6234 - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:34 PM

      Verlander is only important when the Tigers play teams outside the AL Central. Look at the records of the teams in that division. The Tigers are way over .500 against the AL Central. Everyone else is under .500. Not good. What a horrible division this year.

  5. dailyrev - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:57 AM

    Hawk’s just another paid fan in the booth, they are legion. Sure, he’s more patently idiotic than the others, but normal nonetheless for his genre. Oh, there is one worse than him: Sterling of the Yankees radio: he combines idiocy with arrogance, a very toxic mix which can’t be endured for more than five minutes.

    I’ve heard a single one who stands apart from that crowd, Buck Martinez of Toronto. A total professional and former manager with often extraordinary insight on what’s happening within the game and why.

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