When Victor Martinez crushed an offering from Tony Sipp on Wednesday for a grand slam, things seemed to change for a Tigers team that is on a remarkable roll.

Up to that point, I was thinking (and maybe you were too), that you could see a loss coming in the finale against the Indians.

As the script often goes in these situations, it was a getaway game, the Indians were ready to make their last statement of the season and Justin Verlander was due for a bad outing.

Nope.

This team is rolling.

  • Frankly, I’m tired of all the reminders of 2009 – and the Indians radio announcers beat that drum incessantly during the series.

  • Starting play on Friday against the Twins, the Tigers have played 143 games. Here’s a look at how the club’s 81-62 record and 8-1/2-game lead compares to seasons in which it contended:
    • 1984: 92-51, 10 1/2 games up
    • 1987: 86-57, Tied for first with Toronto
    • 2006: 86-57, 3 games up
    • 2009: 77-67, 5 1/2 games up

  • From Elias Sports Bureau: Victor Martinez hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to give Detroit a 7-4 lead at Cleveland and help Justin Verlander notch his 22nd win of the season. The Tigers entered the seventh inning trailing by two runs, matching the largest deficit they’ve had in any of Verlander’s wins this season. Detroit has trailed in only five of Verlander’s wins this year, but Wednesday’s game was the first one of them in which they trailed in the seventh inning or later.

  • On this date in 1977, in the second game of a doubleheader loss in Boston, Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell debuted together and would do so for a record 19 years. The Red Sox won both games, 5-1 and 8-6.

  • Four years ago, Curtis Granderson stole his 20th base and became the third player in history to have 20 doubles, triples, homers and steals in the same season; the others were Wildfire Schulte (1911) and Willie Mays (1957).