Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/22/13
Ah yes the ol’ scoring-from-second-on-a-strikeout play. It hadn’t been part of the Tigers’ offensive repertoire this yeaer but became part of it Wednesday night in a 7-1 victory over the Twins at Comerica Park — a game the Tigers broke open with four runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth. The seventh was a big inning for Torii Hunter who doubled in two runs and was the Tiger who came all the way around from second on a strikeout/passed ball. “I saw the pitcher just looking at the play and the plate was wide open” Hunter said. “But that play never develops if Prince (Fielder) doesn’t run (after the third strike got away from catcher Ryan Doumit).” The eighth was (another) big inning for Miguel Cabrera whose three-run double gave him 123 RBIs for the season. “Can’t walk him when they’re loaded” Hunter saoid. “Have to pitch to him. The pitcher (Mike Tonkin) threw his best pitch a slider but the best hitter on the planet is going to hit that.” The game had been scoreless through the sixth with Twins starter Kevin Correia matching zeroes with Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez. Sanchez didn’t make it through the seventh though so he wasn’t the pitcher of record when the Tigers broke through for their runs. Drew Smyly (5-0) was the winner in relief. When it changed though the game changed quickly. One moment the Tigers were a strike away from trailing 1-0 after the seventh. The next moment they were up by three then six. The start was Sanchez’s fifth this season versus the Twins — against whom he had a no-hit bid broken up by Joe Mauer in the ninth inning May 24 at Comerica Park. What’s odd is that despite a 1.78 ERA in the five he’s won only one of them. “He was terrific though” manager Jim Leyland said. “Both starters were.” The Twins scored on a walk-stolen base-single combination with two outs in the top of the seventh — Pedro Florimon drawing the walk on a close pitch stealing second and scoring on Brian Dozier’s single up the middle. Correia had been tough but with two outs and a 0-2 count on Bryan Holaday he threw a ball then gave up a single to left. Austin Jackson followed with a single. Hunter fouled off a 1-2 pitch and also a 2-2 pitch before finding the gap in right-center with his two-run double. “I’ve gone on record saying he’s one of the toughest players I’ve ever managed” Leyland said. “In big situations he gets tougher. He knows how to grind out a tough at-bat. It’s one of his biggest assets.”
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