MLB Team Report - Detroit Tigers - INSIDE PITCH


DETROIT -- It may not be pretty, but Joe Nathan is saving games for the Detroit Tigers.

Many of his saves are in the tradition of Todd Jones and Jose Valverde, not without anxiety, but Nathan nailed down his 32nd save Sunday when he closed out Detroit's 6-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Nathan now has converted 17 of his last 18 save opportunities since June 25. Five of his six blown saves came before that.

His manager, Brad Ausmus, is on record as saying he doesn't care how Nathan gets saves and it doesn't matter what they look like. As long as they are saves, not losses or blown saves.

"This thing is great," Nathan said of Detroit's current streak of 9-4 in September and six victories in their last seven games. "But you play 162 games.

"The thing is you're not going to play well all the time and then there're times you will play well.

"It seems like we've had a lot of stretches this season where teams have come in against us playing well."

Nathan gave up an RBI double Sunday, then issued a walk as the first four Cleveland batters reached base against him.

But DH Yan Gomes obliged by hitting a 3-2 pitch smartly to third, so Don Kelly could initiate an around-the-horn double play.

Nathan then got pinch-hitter Jason Giambi to fly out gently to left to end the game.

The closer isn't sure he subscribes to the notion that Detroit's veterans are getting it together in September.

"I think it's a matter of we see the finish line and that's given us a burst of energy," he said.

No matter. It's like Nathan's saves.

The Tigers will take saves and wins no matter what they look like.

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MLB Team Report - Detroit Tigers - NOTES, QUOTES


RECORD: 83-66

STREAK: Won three