Tigers offense struggles again on road trip
JUL 30, 2012 10:26p ET
The Tigers came in to Monday's game with the Red Sox averaging exactly three runs a game on their current road trip, and nothing changed in a 7-3 loss.
This time, thing started quickly when Austin Jackson hit the second pitch of the game for a home run. The Tigers added another run in the third, tying the game at 2, but didn't score again until the seventh. Even in the ninth, when they got the first two runners on base, Jhonny Peralta hit into a double play and Alex Avila struck out to end it.
"We're running into some good pitchers and we've got some guys who are trying to do a little much," said Avila during the FOX Sports Detroit postgame show. "We just have to stay focused and keep trying to battle."
Avila understands that the fans are upset by Detroit's inability to build momentum — they have followed a 6-1 homestand with a 2-5 road trip — but asked for patience.
"This is the way baseball works," he said. "Teams go up and down over the season, and I know that's tough for the fans, but we get frustrated, too. We're doing everything we can to fix this."
By the end of Monday's loss, things had gotten so bad that Tigers fans on Twitter were excited by the news that the Cubs had traded Reed Johnson – a 35-year-old platoon outfielder. Unfortunately for anyone who was hoping Johnson could help Detroit's struggles against left-handed pitching, it turned out he was headed to Atlanta.
While Dave Dombrowski could still make a move before Tuesday's trade deadline, or even during the August with some deft work of the waiver wires, Tigers manager Jim Leyland isn't counting on anything.
"You've got what you've got," he said. "I can change the lineup a little, but these are the guys that are going to have to do the job."
Tuesday, the offense might get some relief — they aren't under as much pressure with Justin Verlander on the mound — but even with baseball's best pitcher, they will need more than three runs to ensure a comfortable victory.