A return home from a disappointing road trip might have been enough to wake up the Detroit Tigers’ inconsistent lineup.
The Tigers look to build off a big offensive performance Saturday night when they continue a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics.
It was the third time in franchise history that the Tigers had hit two grand slams in the same game, and the first since Jim Northrup hit a pair on June 24, 1968.
More importantly for the Tigers (18-16), they avoided a fourth straight loss after being swept at Minnesota to conclude a 3-4 road trip.
“We were fortunate to get that game in and get a victory,” said Tigers manager Jim Leyland, whose team scored 27 runs on their road trip - including 10 in a four-run loss to the Twins on Wednesday.
Inge homered for the second time in three games to increase his total to 10 on the season. He is 6 for 13 with seven RBIs in his last three contests.
After losing three of his first four starts, the 20-year-old rookie has allowed one run in 12 innings to win his last two outings. He gave up a run and five hits in five innings of a 5-3 win at Cleveland on Sunday.
“He’s special,” Leyland told the Tigers’ official Web site. “He’s very young, and not real experienced, and very good. We’re not going to get away from our plan.”
Braden (3-4, 2.79) stayed in the game and allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings of a 5-0 loss to Toronto on Sunday.
While X-rays were negative, Braden did suffer a deep bone bruise, but should be ready while pitching on an extra days rest.
“It’s all good,” Braden told the A’s official Web site. “It’s my job to pitch. If I’m OK to pitch, why wouldn’t I pitch?”
The left-hander hasn’t always fared well against the Tigers, going 1-1 with an 8.68 ERA in four starts.
“We just didn’t play very well,” said A’s manager Bob Geren, whose team outscored Kansas City 19-5 in sweeping a two-game set with the Royals prior to Friday’s contest. “We have to come back (Saturday) and play our game.”