Everyone has come to expect dominance from Justin Verlander and he didn't disappoint in game one of the Tigers' ALDS series with the Oakland Athletics Saturday night. JV fanned 11, and only allowed one run on three hits, but it was the Tigers production from the bottom of the order that was surprising.
Andy Dirks, Alex Avila and Omar Infante, number's 6,8,9 respectively in the lineup, combined for three hits. Avila's homer in the 5th inning lifted the Tigers past the A's 3-1.
"The way to win games is to get contributions from everyone," Avila said post-game. "Miguel [Cabrera] and Prince [Fielder] cant do it all the time, other people have to step up. It's good; it lengthens the lineup and makes it much tougher for pitchers."
"It's why Jim [Leyland] puts us in these situations," Quintin Berry, who batted 2nd, said, "to get those guys moving around for our big guys to come up. I'm just glad we can do it and make things happen today."
"[All the games] are going to be hard," Leadoff hitter Austin Jackson said. "It's nice to get the first one."
The first win is nice, but with the new format, it's important to win game two as well. If the Tigers don't, they'll be heading to Oakland all-square facing three tough games against a very good home team.