July 21st, 2012
Right-handed batters are hitting .207 off the pride of Lakeland, Chris Sale. Left-handed hitters are at .209. But at least the righties have hit for some power. So aside from Prince Fielder and Brennan Boesch, the Tigers are going righty-happy today with their lineup. That includes sitting Quintin Berry, who has quietly gone 0-for-10 since his three-hit outburst Monday. Ryan Raburn, 1-for-4 with a home run off Sale since 2010, gets another chance to break out of a 5-for-36 July.
- Austin Jackson, CF
- Ryan Raburn, LF
- Miguel Cabrera, 3B
- Prince Fielder, 1B
- Delmon Young, DH
- Jhonny Peralta, SS
- Brennan Boesch, RF
- Gerald Laird, C
- Danny Worth, 2B
P: Rick Porcello
- Alejandro De Aza, CF
- Kevin Youkilis, 3B
- Adam Dunn, DH
- Paul Konerko, 1B
- Alex Rios, RF
- A.J. Pierzynski, C
- Dayan Viciedo, LF
- Alexei Ramirez, SS
- Gordon Beckham, 2B
P: Chris Sale
Quintin Berry has done plenty for the Tigers’ fortunes since coming up from Triple-A Toledo, obviously. On Friday, his biggest contributions came without swinging the bat.
It was Jake Peavy’s 0-1 pitch hitting Berry that extended the third inning for the middle of the Tigers order to churn out three straight two-out RBI hits. Then in the ninth, Berry’s diving catch ended it, avoiding what would have been a situation with the potential tying run at the plate in the form of Alex Rios.
Granted, it would have taken quite a hit to get Paul Konerko around the bases, but nobody wanted to take that chance.
“I just wanted to get to it and get this game over with,” Berry said. “Big series, you want to start out on top, and he hit it well enough that I was able to get to it.”
Most of Berry’s big catches seemingly have been to the deep parts of the outfield, forcing him to use his speed to backtrack. This one forced him to come in and angle towards the left-field line.
The catch itself brought out a reaction that made his usual clapping for a base hit seem subdued.
“I was just fired up we got that game over with and got that W,” Berry said. “It’s just big, man. It’s a big series.”
Lost in the energy of the sellout crowd over Justin Verlander’s outing Friday night was the minute or so of panic when Miguel Cabrera was limping around third base and head athletic trainer Kevin Rand came out from the dugout to check on him.
Cabrera said he felt it coming into third from first base. However, Cabrera stayed in the game, not only for that inning but also at third base for the ninth, and he said after the game that he was fine.
“My ankle’s OK,” Cabrera said.
That’s a huge relief for the Tigers, who will be counting on Cabrera as they try to find a way to produce some offense off Chris Sale on Saturday.