Justin Verlander gave up 8 hits including a home run. He only struck out two. He allowed 6 runs in 6 innings. The Tigers committed 4 errors. These errors included some awful plays. Verlander had Upton picked off as he left early stealing second, but threw the ball into center. The Rays had runners on first and third and tried to steal second. A bad throw to second allowed the runner from third to score. A bad throw to the plate allowed the runner on second to advance to third (and later score).
Yet, somehow the Tigers won 7-6. The Tigers first run came when Upton dropped a routine line out. In the fifth Cabrera had a three-run home run. Avila hit two home runs. In the sixth he hit a solo home run that made it 6-5. In the eighth he took a left handed pitcher to left field for a two-run home run to put the Tigers ahead. The bullpen allowed no runs. Of particular note, Alburquerque inherited a bases loaded one out situation. He struck out a batter. Then he deflected a ground ball right to Peralta for a force out. When the best starter has an awful day and the defense falters it is great to somehow get a win.
The game itself vas very cold. The air temperature was in the 50’s and 60’s, but a wind from left made it pretty miserable. It was almost enough to mkae me take back my I-don’t-believe-in-wind-chill stance.
We took advantage of early entry for the first time this year. Now they don’t let you into right field until 5:20. Right before they release you from the Pavillion in left field a ball boy gets all the balls from the bleacher area. So, it appears the 4 and 5 ball pregames are a thing of the past. Nonetheless we managed to acquire two balls during early entry. One landed right near me as I walked from left to right. My youngest daughter and I were the first to the bleachers so we got another ball that landed in the bleachers. She later got a third ball from a Ray reliever. This time she didn’t share. She restocked her bag of balls so she can get autographs on balls when she wants this year.