Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Dugout Digest – the Tigers can’t pull away

The Detroit Tigers are obviously having a great year, and have dominated the AL Central from nearly wire to wire. But it’s August 7th, and their lead over the Royals is just 3.5 games. Somehow, the Tigers haven’t been able to pull away and coast to the division crown quite yet. In the second half, the Tigers are just 9-11, compared to 11-7 for the Royals. The Royals won’t have an easy road to the playoffs – following their series closing game in Arizona tonight, Kansas City has three at home with the Giants and four with the A’s, who they took two out of three from in Oakland last weekend. The Tigers will head to Toronto after finishing up in the Bronx, and then play the Pirates for a four game split series. Even after the David Price acquisition, nothing is truly set in stone yet. Wait to make those judgments after these two teams play six times in September.

Game of the Day: Padres 5, Twins 4 (ten innings). Ah yes, the battle between two teams that seem to be long out of the playoffs in August…happy happy joy joy. The Twins held a 4-3 lead going into the ninth inning, but Glen Perkins was unusually shaky. Yonder Alonso led the inning off with a double, and Perkins then walked Rene Rivera. Alexi Amarista bunted the runners into scoring position, and Everth Cabrera followed up with a game-tying sac fly. In the bottom of the ninth, Trevor Plouffe walked to lead off the frame, pinch runner Eduardo Nunez stole second with one out, and ended up dying there after an intentional walk, a pop up, and a line out. Anthony Swarzak replaced Perkins in the tenth, and immediately gave up a go-ahead solo homer to Seth Smith. The bottom of the tenth was a lot like the bottom of the ninth for the Twins – lead off hitter reaches (Kurt Suzuki single), makes it to second (Jordan Schafer sac bunt), and dies there (fly out, walk, pop up), leading to Joaquin Benoit getting the save for San Diego.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Drew Hutchison pitched the Blue Jays to a 5-1 win over the Orioles, allowing one run on just one hit in 8 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out eight. Dan Haren and the Dodgers topped the Angels 2-1, thanks to Haren giving up one run on three hits in 7 1/3 innings, punching out four without a walk. Jeremy Hellickson and the Rays coasted to a 7-3 win in Oakland, with Hellickson allowing one run on two hits in seven innings, striking out three and walking none. Doug Fister shined in Washington’s 7-1 win over the Mets, giving up just one unearned run on six hits in 7 1/3 innings, walking none and striking out seven. Chris Capuano had a nice start for the Yankees in their 5-1 win over the Tigers, allowing an unearned run on five hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out eight.

Hitting Lines of the Night: In Cincinnati’s 8-3 win over Cleveland, Kris Negron went 3/4 with a double, a homer, three runs, and two RBI. Adam LaRoche provided the Nationals with all the offense they needed in their win over the Mets, going 2/4 with a pair of homers and three RBI. Adam Rosales went 2/4 with two homers and three RBI in the Rangers’ 3-1 win over the White Sox. Jose Bautista went 3/4 with a double, a homer, and three RBI in Toronto’s victory over Baltimore. Pablo Sandoval went 3/5 with a homer, two runs, and three RBI in the Giants’ 7-4 win over the Brewers.

Hitting Lines of the Night, Coors Field Edition: The Rockies pounded the Cubs 13-4, thanks to Corey Dickerson going 4/4 with a double, a triple, three runs, and three RBI. Carlos Gonzalez chipped in by going 3/5 with a double, a homer, three runs, and two RBI, while Michael McKenry added a 3/4 evening that included a homer, two runs, and three RBI.

Other Games: The Mariners beat the Braves 7-3, sending Atlanta to an eight-game winless road trip out west. The Phillies smashed the Astros 10-3. The Pirates beat the Marlins 7-3 behind the arm of Jeff Locke. The Red Sox edged the Cardinals 2-1. Those aforementioned Royals topped the Diamondbacks 4-3.

Today’s Games: Jacob deGrom and Jordan Zimmermann will duel in Washington. Rick Porcello starts for the Tigers in the Bronx. Wily Peralta and the Brewers host the Giants. Homer Bailey and the Reds take on the Indians. Adam Wainwright starts for the Cardinals against the Red Sox. Hyun-Jin Ryu and C.J. Wilson will face off in Anaheim. Jon Lester and the A’s host the Twins.

National TV: Tigers-Yankees (1 PM, MLB Network), Giants-Brewers (2 PM, MLB Network), Red Sox-Cardinals (7 PM, MLB Network), Orioles-Blue Jays (7 PM, MLB Network)

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

I'm the managing editor of Awful Announcing and the news editor of The Comeback. I also made The Outside Corner a thing for six seasons.