Tigers offense struggles again on road trip

Another road game, another three runs.

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.