Game One: 09 Tigers 5, 69 Tigers 2
WP: Verlander (1-0)
LP: McLain (0-1)
Save: Rodney (1)
HR: Mi. Cabrera (1)
Game Two: 69 Tigers 6, 09 Tigers 3
WP: P. Dobson (1-1)
LP: Rodney (0-1)
Save: Northrop (1), McAuliffe (1)
Game Three: 69 Tigers 8, 09 Tigers 6
WP: Wilson (1-0)
LP: Porcello (0-1)
Save: McMahon (1)
HR: Horton (1), Price (1)
Game Four: 69 Tigers 3, 09 Tigers 2
WP: McLain (1-1)
LP: Washburn (0-1)
HR: Price (2), Polanco (1)
Game Five: 69 Tigers 10, 09 Tigers 1
WP: Lolich (1-0)
LP: Verlander (1-1)
HR: Wert (1), Polanco (2), Tresh (1), Stanley 2 (2), Northrop (2)
The 2009 Tigers seemed briefly in command of the series, but two disastrous innings put the series on a different course, and the 1969 Tigers won the last four games.
Game One pitted Denny McLain against Justin Verlander, two of the American League's best pitchers from their respective seasons, and for six innings they dueled to a 1-0 score. Miguel Cabrera homered in the fourth inning to give Verlander the slender lead. McLain cracked in the seventh, allowing four runs. The 69 Tigers rallied for two runs in the eighth, but Brandon Lyon got a double play to end the threat, and Fernando Rodney had a perfect ninth for the save.
Game Two was going the same direction. The 09 Tigers plated solo runs in the second, third and fifth innings against Mickey Lolich, and Edwin Jackson took the 3-0 lead into the eighth inning. The two men Jackson faced in the eight reached, and reliever Bobby Seay couldn't keep them from scoring. Rodney entered for the ninth with a 3-2 lead, and Jim Northrop greeted him with the game-tying homer. Rodney got the next two hitters, but then Mickey Stanley doubled, pinch-hitter Gates Brown walked and Dick McAuliffe launched the walk-off three-run homer into Tiger Stadium's overhang.
The evened series moved to Comerica Park for Game Three, and the 09 Tigers got off the mat with a four-run fourth against Earl Wilson. The inning ended when Al Kaline threw Alex Avila out at the plate, and the 69 Tigers immediately responded with a six-run inning of their own with eight straight men reaching against Rick Porcello. The 69 Tigers later got solo homers from Willie Horton and Jim Price, who entered the game after Bill Freehan was hit by a pitch during the fifth-inning rally.
McLain got the start on three days rest in Game 4 and outdueled Jarrod Washburn. Price, subbing for the bruised Freehan, hit a two-run homer in the seventh, which gave the 69 Tigers the cushion to withstand Placido Polanco's two-run homer in the ninth. McLain shrugged off the homer to get the complete game.
The 09 Tigers went to the short-rest well again with Lolich for Game Five, and the lefty allowed just three hits and one run in seven innings (he also walked five). Verlander, on full rest, did not fare so well, yielding seven runs in six innings. The last three came on a homer by Stanley, who added another homer in the eighth.
Stanley is player of the series. He went 8-for-20 with five runs and four RBIs while shifting between shortstop and centerfield without a misplay.
Pitcher availability: All will be on full rest for the second round.