Pathetic Fourth for the Tigers (7/4 Recaps)

It was an important ten game stretch; arguably the ten most important games of the season. Three against Chicago, three against New York, and four more in Cleveland, marked by a doubleheader on our nation's Independence Day. It hasn't gone the Tigers way though, as they fell to 1-7 over that stretch, including Cleveland taking both games on the 4th, with neither the Tiger offense nor the pitching staff appearing ready to play.

Detroit Tigers - 37-43, 4th in AL Central
In the opener, the Tigers were put out of the game before they ever really had a chance to get into it. Jason Johnson was rocked by the Indians' batters, giving up seven runs in just 3 1/3 innings of work. The offense didn't help much either, managing just three runs on six hits, and all three of those runs came after the outcome was practically over. Rondell White drove in all three runs, first a single to score Carlos Guillen, then a two run home run that scored him as well as Chris Shelton in the 9th inning. The second outing went only marginally better in Justin Verlander's big league debut. Verlander struggled at the start giving up three runs, but calmed down to keep the Tigers in the game; going 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits before giving way to the bullpen. Fernando Rodney would later allow a pair of solo home runs in the 8th inning, including another by Travis Hafner, who had three on the day. Meanwhile, the Tigers offense once again proved unable to bring runners home in scoring position, as the Indians shut them out 6-0 in the nightcap, which was capped off by a Vance Wilson ejection, after being unhappy with being struckout on three straight called strikes. Seemingly evolving into ‘sellers' overnight with so many fans gone and away from the action over the holiday weekend, the Tigers will try and put something together before the All Star break. Mike Maroth will try and snap the Tigers out of their losing streak when he goes up against Jake Westbrook at 7:05pm.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor

AAA Toledo Mud Hens - 51-32, 1st in West division
The Mud Hens won their third in a row and opened up a three game lead for first place in the IL West on Monday with a 8-4 over the Bulls in Durham. The Hens put 15 hits on the board, four of which belonged to Marcus Thames whose night included a homerun, two RBI and two runs scored. Curtis Granderson hit his ninth and tenth homeruns of the season on a night in which he went 3-5 with three RBI and three runs scored. Matt Ginter got his first win as a Hen, pitching into the seventh inning and allowing four runs on seven hits. Mark Woodyard came in to pitch the final two and two-thirds innings for Toledo and was almost perfect, only surrendering one hit and striking out four Bull-hitters. Carlos Pena also hit his fifth homerun since being assigned to Toledo, which was one of his three hits on the evening. The Hens and Bulls will play game two of the four-game series on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
- Doug DeSloover, Toledo Correspondent

AA Erie SeaWolves - 45-38, 1st in Southern division
The SeaWolves celebrated the 4th of July in style with a 5-4 win against Altoona. DH Kurt Airoso ignited the fireworks display in the 3rd with a 3-run homer. C Max St. Pierre was credited with an RBI when he reached on a fielder's choice in the 5th. Erie 2B Juan Francia sparkled with an RBI single in the 8th along with 3 hits (in 4 AB). The winning pitcher was starter Jeremy Johnson (7-4). In 7 innings, Johnson allowed 2 runs and gave up only 4 hits. Lee Rodney relieved in the 8th. . Edwin Almonte closed the game in the 9th and collected his 24th save despite giving up 2 runs. Erie meets Altoona Tuesday night at 7:05 to continue their 4-game series.
- Paige Edelman, Erie Correspondent

High-A Lakeland Tigers - 6-4, 3rd in West division
The L-Tigers defeated the Yankees 6-5. Jermy Rodriguez started on the mound for Lakeland. He pitched three innings and gave up two runs on five hits, including a solo home run in the first. Rodriguez started the fourth but allowed a leadoff single and was lifted for Ian Ostlund, who just joined Lakeland's staff from West Michigan last week. Ostlund went two innings, gave up four hits and two runs. Ostlund got ahead after the L-Tigers scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to go up 5-3. In the fourth, Kelly Hunt hit a two run homer, which was followed by a solo shot from Eric Rodland Garth McKinney added a RBI triple. The Yankees scored one run in the fifth but Derek Nicholson answered back with a home run in the bottom of the inning. Zell and DeLa Cruz came on for the middle to late innings and held the Yankees scoreless. Chris Homer pitched the ninth and got his seventeenth save of the season. Nicholson finished two for four with a RBI and two runs. Rodland went three for four with two RBI and a run. Hunt was one for four with two RBI and a run scored. The L-Tigers have improved their record to 6-4 and are now two games behind Ft. Myers in the division. Tampa and Lakeland finish up their series tomorrow in Lakeland, 7pm.
- Aaron Westgate, Lakeland Correspondent

A West Mich. Whitecaps - 7-5, 2nd in East division
The Whitecaps had their six game winning streak snapped on the 4th of July with an 8-1 loss to Quad Cities. Jair Jurrjens turned in a strong start but took the loss nonetheless, as he gave up a run on six hits over five innings. Jurrjens also struck out four as he fell to 6-4 on the season. Freddy Dolsi was on the mound when the real damage was done, though just two of the seven runs he allowed were earned. The offense seemed to mirror their parent club Tigers, as they had just five hits, only two for extra bases. Nick McIntyre did have an RBI double for West Michigan. They'll face Quad Cities again on Tuesday at 7:05pm.
- Deb Ziegler, West Michigan Correspondent

SS-A Oneonta Tigers - 10-4, 1st in Stedler division
Oneonta kept up its winning ways with a 5-0 shutout of Vermont. Jay Sborz started but made it just 1/3 of an inning before being removed (no word yet on Sborz's status). He was replaced by Jose Fragoso, who pitched 3 2/3 shutout innings to earn the victory. At the plate, Clete Thomas had another big game, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Cory Middleton also had three hits and drove in a run as well. Rafael Mendez also chipped in with his first home run of the year. The O-Tigers host Vermont again at 7pm on Tuesday.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor

R GCL Tigers - 5-2, 1st in North division
Ramon Garcia got his first win with the GCL Tigers as they went on to win to beat the GCL Braves 8-3. Garcia gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings. Wilkin Rodriguez led it off for the GCL Tigers going 2-for-5 with a run, while Angel Reyes had a pair of home runs as well as four RBI. Miguel Linares also added three hits in the winning effort. They'll host the GCL Braves at noon on Tuesday.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor

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