The Tigers’ lead in Game 1 of the ALCS just grew.
Delmon Young launched a solo home run to the left field seats at Yankee Stadium with one out in the top of the eighth, pushing Detroit to a 3-0 advantage over New York with the evening growing increasingly late.
The dinger not only provided insurance for the Tigers in this crucial ALCS opener, it also made Young the all-time postseason home run leader in franchise history. (He overtook the great Craig Monroe).
Jhonny Peralta followed Young’s blast with a double, then scooted home on a single by Avisail Garcia, making the score 4-0.
The Tigers will ask their bullpen to nail down the final six outs. The bottom of the eight just began.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.