Game 3: Santana v. Bonderman

After taking the first two games of the series, the Tigers get to face Johan Santana while going for the sweep. Things aren’t much easier for the Twins as Jeremy Bonderman toes the rubber for Detroit. Powered by seven hits from the first three hitters in the order (Granderson, Polanco & Monroe), the Tigers jumped out to a 6-0 lead yesterday. Nate Robertson and Joel Zumaya labored through the seventh inning as the Twins drew within one. Dmitri Young took Pat Neshek deep in the eighth inning to give the Tigers a much-needed insurance run. They added another in the top of the ninth and Todd Jones slammed the door gently moved the door into a closed position for the 8-6 win after allowing three hits and a run to raise his earned run average to 4.97.

Young has been white-hot since his return to the team. In seven games, he has posted a .400/.429/.760 line with three home runs and seven runs batted in. If he continues to hit, the Tigers will have to juggle at-bats between Young, Monroe and Thames unless one of them is moved today or tomorrow in a trade. Monroe has auditioned nicely in July as well with a .341/.353/.585 line in 21 games with three home runs and 16 runs batted in. Meanwhile, Thames has struggled mightily for the first time all season. Production from Young alleviates the primary need of a left-handed hitter, but a seven game sample isn’t going to convince anyone that he will put up numbers for the next two months.

I expect some type of move from the Tigers, but not necessarily the blockbuster for Bobby Abreu or Alfonso Soriano. The Tigers added a hitter to the bench from the farm with Brent Clevlen being called up as reported at the Detroit Tigers Weblog. In terms of the choice, it is a bit of surprise that Clevlen won out given his season, but as Billfer points out it is likely because of his place on the 40-man roster.

With two-of-three locked up, the Tigers have won their sixth straight series. They are going for their first series sweep since back-to-back series sweeps of St. Louis and Houston in late June.

The weekends are very casual at work and as such I’m rocking the Tigers jersey today to hopefully bring home the sweep.

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