Returning to the top of the AL Central wasn’t nearly as joyous as the Detroit Tigers had hoped.
The Tigers look to win three straight on the road for the first time this season Tuesday night when they face the Minnesota Twins.
Detroit (41-34) moved one-half game ahead of Minnesota (41-35) in the Central with a 7-5 victory in the opener of this three-game series Monday. However, the win came with a high cost as Zumaya left in the eighth after collapsing and squirming on the mound following a pitch.
The hard-throwing setup man fractured his elbow and will miss the rest of the season. He’s been plagued by injuries over the last three seasons but returned to being a force in 2010 with a 2.58 ERA in 31 appearances.
Overcoming Zumaya’s injury isn’t the only concern for Detroit. The club is uncertain to have slugger Magglio Ordonez(notes) back after he was a late scratch Monday due to a recurring injury to his side.
Manager Jim Leyland said the right fielder “doesn’t feel right” and would be examined by a doctor.
Ordonez is batting .319 with 10 homers and 49 RBIs.
With the injuries mounting, the Tigers will need continued strong production from Brennan Boesch(notes), who has moved from left to right in place of Ordonez. Boesch has a .355 average with eight homers and 23 RBIs in 24 games.
The right-hander is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in five starts this month with all of them resulting in Tigers victories. He earned his first win since his near perfect game Thursday, allowing four runs and five hits over six innings of a 6-5 victory over the Mets.
“I gave my team a chance to win, I got the ‘W.’ That’s your job every time you take the mound,” Galarraga said.
The Twins have dropped eight of 11 with their rotation posting a 7.43 ERA.
The right-hander is 0-4 with a 12.05 ERA in five June starts after winning all five outings last month behind a 2.65 ERA.
Blackburn showed little signs of improvement Thursday, surrendering five runs and two homers in 3 2-3 innings of a 5-0 loss at Milwaukee.
“It’s the same thing that’s been happening to me, just letting some balls up and they hit them,” Blackburn said. “It’s getting pretty old, going out there and putting out efforts like that and not giving us even remotely a chance to win.”
Blackburn, though, has been solid at Target Field this season with a 4-0 record and a 3.19 ERA.
He is 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA and two complete games in three home starts against Detroit.
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